12/07/2011 03:37 EST | Updated 02/06/2012 05:12 EST

Ex-Roman Catholic business manager in N.L. gets two years less a day for fraud

ST. JOHN'S, - The former business manager of the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of St. John's has been sentenced to two years less a day in jail for defrauding the church of almost $600,000.

Bill Power was originally charged with 34 counts relating to forgery and fraud, but was sentenced today after pleading guilty to three counts of fraud over $5,000.

The thefts occurred between 2003 and last year.

The 63-year-old Power was also ordered to pay restitution of $489,000 and will be on probation for two years after his release from jail.

Archbishop Martin Currie said in a release he's relieved the matter has come to a conclusion and he thanked the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and the Crown.

He called the last 14 months "a tragic and painful period" in the church's history.

Currie said it's the church's hope that by bringing the matter to light, it can help others to deal with abuses of public trust.