Feds trying to stop convicted priest from liquidating assets

    Federal prosecutors want a judge to freeze the assets of Pennsylvania priest who owes $70,000 in fines and restitution after he was convicted of sexually assaulting poor street children during missionary trips to Honduras.

    According to documents filed Friday, prosecutors say Joseph Maurizio transferred 42 acres of land to his niece in November, after he was convicted, and has continued trying to transfer his assets to her in a phone call from jail since his March 2 sentencing. Maurizio was also ordered to spend more than 17 years in prison.

    The niece named in court documents, Christine Shaulis, of Windber, declined comment Friday. Maurizio’s attorneys didn’t immediately return calls and an email seeking comment.

    Prosecutors say Maurizio was supposed to pay the fines and restitution by March 18.

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