LAPD: Erwin Mena impersonates Catholic priest to defraud parishioners
The people of Southern California called him “Padre.”
For years, Erwin Mena officiated Mass, took confessions and performed other rites of the Catholic Church.
One problem, he’s never been a Catholic priest. The way police describe him, con man might be a better title.
Now he’s behind bars in a Los Angeles jail, after a felony warrant was issued for his arrest. Mena, 59, is charged with perjury and grand theft.
“Over the course of several years, Mena visited multiple Catholic Parishes throughout the Los Angeles Area and portrayed himself as a Catholic Priest,” the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement. “Mena officiated church ceremonies and solicited donations on behalf of the church(s), but kept the money for himself.”
The LAPD arrested him on Tuesday, taking him into custody without incident.
“We are grateful to the Los Angeles Police Department for working to ensure that Erwin Mena was brought to justice,” said a statement from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. “Our prayers go out to all the victims of his scam.”
Culled from CNN