Local News

Police: Man Posed as Preacher to Get Money

Posted October 25, 2007 10:05 a.m. EDT

— A local man has been charged with posing as a minister collecting donations for homeless people to obtain money, police said.

Anthony “Tony” Melvin, 58, of 202 Treadway Court, has been charged with obtaining property by false pretense.

Police said a man representing himself as the pastor of First Baptist Church, at 201 Anderson St., went to several businesses and residents in Fayetteville, claiming he was collecting money for the Homeless Coalition. The man used the name of the church’s pastor when contacting people by phone or in person, police said.

Melvin was arrested after Georgia Brown’s Restaurant was contacted for a donation, and he arrived to pick up the money, police said.

Investigators said they believe the scam could have been going on for up to two years. They are contacting residents and businesses that might have been victimized and have asked anyone who thinks they might have been scammed to call Detective S. Stewart of the Fayetteville Police Department at 910-433-1856.