Con Artist Scams Rochester Churches
Rochester MN (KROC AM News) - A man who police describe as a professional con artist was arrested in Rochester Wednesday night on an out of state warrant and investigators are trying to determine if there are more victims in the local area.
Captain John Sherwin says 39 year old Alan Farha visited Pax Christi and St. John’s Catholic churches Monday seeking money from parishioners during morning services, saying his family had been killed by an IED in Beirut. He was given about $1000 total but drew suspicions when it was learned he was visiting other local churches.
Sherwin says his investigators later learned Farha has a history of conning people out of money in numerous states by giving bogus hard-luck stories. Past victims include churches, businesses, non-profits and individuals, including some in the Twin Cities about 10 years ago. He is a native of the Dallas, Texas area but has moved around the country.
The arrest warrant was issued by authorities in Fargo where he is facing a theft by deception charge. Sherwin says it’s expected Farha will face local charges.
He is asking other churches that may have been scammed to contact the Police Department.