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Milwaukee Archdiocese: $75M Transfer Wasn't Meant to Shield Assets

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WTAQ) - The Archdiocese of Milwaukee says the transfer of $75 million over the last six years wasn't an effort to shield its assets from sex abuse settlements.

The families of sex abuse victims implied moving the money was something like a shell game during a bankruptcy hearing before a federal trustee. An attorney for the victims also asked about another $55 million put into a trust a year after the Wisconsin Supreme Court opened the door for victims to sue the archdiocese.

A spokesperson for the church denies the allegations, saying it has been liquidating all non-essential assets for years to help pay the costs of therapy and voluntary settlements. The spokesperson says the archdiocese had been holding the $75 million for local parishes in an investment account, then returned it when it quit offering those services.

The church says it only has $7 million available for settlements, but the families of victims apparently intend to challenge that figure.

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