Man sentenced to prison after stealing thousands from New Bedford church

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — A man pleaded guilty in the Fall River Superior Court on Wednesday for stealing check from a New Bedford Church.

Radislaw Czerkawski, 35, was convicted on a litany of larceny by check charges over $250.

Court documents said that Czerkawski has been sentenced to serve three to five years in state prison.

Back in 2012, Czerkaswki told the Arch Diocese of Fall River that he was interested in becoming a priest.

According to the DA, he was placed at the St. Lawrence Parish in New Bedford in hopes that he would relate well to Polish congregants because he is from Poland himself.

While living in the church-owned residence, the court stated that he stole checks and a signature stamp, and made out $4,500 worth of checks to himself.

Czerkawski was also convicted of embezzlement from an elderly woman in Norfolk county last July, said court documents.

The judge ruled that none of the time Czerkawski served for that conviction will count towards the current sentence.

Court documents reveal that Assistant District Attorney Brian Griffin argued on behalf of the state for a three to five year state prison sentence. Czerkawski requested a one-year sentence at the county House of Corrections.

“I’d like to thank New Bedford Police Detective Greg Sirois for his persistence in investigating this case. The defendant took advantage of the good will of the pastor, who provided him a place to stay,” District Attorney Thomas Quinn said.