St. Isidore Catholic Church's former facilities manager, Virgilio Lukban, will spend the next three years paying back $35,000 of $68,802 he is charged with stealing from the Danville church.
The 47-year-old Danville resident pleaded no contest Thursday to one count of petty theft and was sentenced to three years probation and 65 days in jail but received credit for time he served after his arrest in May.
The five counts of embezzlement he faced in May were dropped in exchange for his plea.
Lukban's attorney, Bill Gagen, said Lukban, who began working at the church in 2003, believed many of the purchases he made using church money were approved by St. Isidore's former bookkeeper, Kathleen Dake.
Dake, of Blackhawk, , to pay for plastic surgery, shopping trips, services on her Porsche and other personal expenses.
Given Lukban's defense, Gagen said the payment of $35,000 was determined by the church and lawyers to be a satisfactory restitution.
Of the $35,000 Lukban is ordered to pay back, $15,000 will be paid to the church immediately through a trust that was set up through Gagen when Lukban posted bail.
The remaining $20,000 will be paid over three years, while Lukban is on probation.
Part of that money will come from wages paid to Lukban's wife, Cherrie Lukban, who currently works at the church, said Supervising Deputy District Attorney Steve Bolen. Cherrie Lukban works in the church's Faith Formation Office.
Virgilio Lukban , in connection with about $600,000 missing from the church. St. Isidore's Pastor Gerry Moran first noticed discrepancies in the parish financial office records in May 2010 leading to a nine month investigation.
The third staffer involved, Evelyn Peinado, a longtime church volunteer from Alamo, pleaded not guilty to three counts of embezzlement. Peinado turned herself in at court for her arraignment. She also put money into a trust fund to cover restitution to the church should she be found guilty, said Bolen. Her next court date is Sept. 22.
All three church staffers were fired as a result of the investigation.
The church has since added a separate bookkeeper and accounting manager to monitor its finances, according to a statement from the Diocese of Oakland at the time of the arrests.