Buddhist monk faces March trial in embezzlement case
LAFAYETTE - A Buddhist monk faces trial in March on charges he embezzled more than $200,000 from his Lafayette temple to feed a casino gambling habit.
Khang Nguyen Le was scheduled to plead guilty on Wednesday to wire fraud charges. However, the plea agreement fell apart when Le told a federal judge that he couldn't understand how the charges applied to his case.
Le defended his actions during the hearing and denied he intended to take cash from the bank accounts for the Vietnamese Buddhist Association of Southeast Louisiana Inc.
Le served as the temple's presiding monk from 2010 through October 2014. His indictment last year said he withdrew money from temple accounts and used it for gambling at casinos in Lake Charles and elsewhere.