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Former Director of Lansing Diocese’s St. Francis Retreat Center Faces Criminal Charges

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel today announced criminal charges have been filed against the former director of the Lansing Catholic Diocese’s St. Francis Retreat Center for allegedly embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from three fellow priests.

Father David Rosenberg, 70, of Dewitt, was arraigned Thursday before Magistrate Nikki Maneval in the 65-A District Court in Clinton County. He was given a $25,000 personal recognizance bond with conditions that he is prohibited from acting as a fiduciary and must relinquish any current power of attorney appointments.    

Rosenberg is charged with the following:

  • Three counts of Embezzlement from a Vulnerable Adult $100,000 or more, a 20-year felony;
  • One count of Uttering and Publishing, a 14-year felony;
  • One count of Larceny over $20,000, a 10-year-felony;
  • One count of Perjury, a 15-year-felony, and;
  • One count of False Pretenses over $100,000, a 20-year-felony.

Between 2015 and 2021, Rosenberg was the director of the Lansing Catholic Diocese’s St. Francis Retreat Center in Dewitt. On the grounds of the Retreat Center are apartments that house retired Catholic priests. Two of the priests resided in the apartments until their deaths, and one priest still resides at the Retreat Center.

It is alleged that between January 2018 and December 2020, Rosenberg embezzled approximately $830,000 from the three priests and used the money to fund his charitable foundation, FaithFirst, formerly known as the Rosenberg Family Corporation. Rosenberg accumulated wealth for FaithFirst in part by embezzling money from the elderly priests living at the Retreat Center.

A probable cause conference is scheduled for December 15 and a preliminary examination for December 22.

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A criminal charge is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.