Bogus priest arrested: Fake Priest Arrested
February 6, 2016 by staff
Bogus priest arrested: Fake Priest Arrested, Los Angeles police have arrested a man accused of pretending to be a Catholic priest.
Erwin Mena was apprehended Tuesday by authorities in Los Angeles’ Elysian Park on suspicion of grand theft. According to L.A. detectives, Mena, 59, posed as a priest for several years and used the charade to swindle thousands of dollars from various parishes within the archdiocese of Los Angeles. A criminal complaint filed by the L.A. country district attorney’s office states that he is being charged with 22 felonies and 8 misdemeanors, including multiple counts of grand theft, falsifying a public document,and perjury.
Following his arrest Mena stated he had no comment on the charges “at this time.”
Reports indicate the act has been going on since the mid-1990s, and that during that period Mena celebrated Masses, heard confessions and officiated funerals, in addition to at least one wedding. This all occurred as the fake priest was pocketing money from various church coffers. LAPD detective Gary Guevara affirms Mena even sold fake trips to see Pope Francis while the pontiff was visiting the United States in September and then pocketed the estimated $1,000.
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