Priest Tells Court How Zeller Allegedly Swindled Him

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A retired Catholic priest who was allegedly swindled out of his life savings by a Norfolk woman told a St. Lawrence County Court he gave her money to "build a future" for her and her son with the hope that she would one day repay him.
 
Bobbi Jo Zeller could go on trial as soon as August on charges of grand larceny, scheming to defraud and criminal possession of a forged instrument.

Police say 36 year old woman swindled the priest and several parishioners out of more than $300,000 by claiming she needed money for a sick child and to pay bills.
 
Monsignor Robert Lawler told the court in a videotaped pre-trial testimony that from 2010 to January of this year he gave Zeller money because "I wanted her to have a future - to build a future that would be meaningful for her and her son."
 
The monsignor said the last time he gave Zeller any money was in January when he provided her with $1,700 to pay a bill.

He said she has paid him back $250, but wrote three fraudulent checks off a non-existing account.
 
Earlier this week, June McQueeney of Waddington testified that she depleted her savings by giving Zeller more than $15,000 in financial help.

Friday, August 29, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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