Aurora church pastor charged with theft

May 19, 2010 (AURORA, Ill.) Howard Richmond faces three felony counts of theft by deception after his arrest Wednesday morning in Naperville by Aurora police.

Authorities say Richmond heads Life Ministries, a storefront church located at 4054 Fox Valley Center Drive in Aurora.

Police were alerted to the possible crimes in April of 2009 after a 60-year-old parishioner told them Richmond had swindled about $400,000 from him by asking him to help purchase the shopping center property where the church is located and help fund the building of a new church.

Authorities say over the next few months, Richmond allegedly used the same story to deceive a 43-year-old Aurora man out of $8,000 and a 64-year-old Chicago dentist out of more than $67,000.

Police say they don't know what Richmond did with the money.

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