NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A devout Catholic who was a regular at St. Patrick’s Cathedral has accepted a negotiated plea deal for embezzling from the Church.

Anita Collins of the Bronx has admitted to embezzling $1 million from the Archdiocese of New York, according to prosecutors.

WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reports

Collins pleaded guilty to charges that she falsified records and wrote checks to herself.

Prosecutors said Collins issued 450 checks of $2,500 or less, which was below the threshold for approval by supervisors.

She had worked in the finance office of the New York Archdiocese since 2003 until she was fired from her job last December after the alleged fraud was uncovered by the archdiocese.

Collins was not ordered to pay restitution as part of the plea deal because she had spent all the money.

Prosecutors said Collins used the stolen funds to buy expensive clothing, furniture and a high-priced doll collection.

The plea deal came after months of negotiations with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

Collins has a criminal past that the archdiocese didn’t know about. In 1999, she pleaded guilty to grand larceny of $46,000 from a temporary employment agency.

The archdiocese said Collins was hired before their criminal background check went into effect.

Collins will face at least four years in prison as part of the plea deal, prosecutors said.

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