A Man Poses As A Priest To Pocket Donations
Priests have been suffering from a steady decline in trustworthiness ever since that Martin Luther fellow nailed some complaints to a church door a few centuries back. But even so, a simple collar (available for about $12) could probably get you into Fort Knox if you act reverend-ly enough.
Church Supply Warehouse
"When the collection plate comes around on Sunday, tell 'em you gave at the office."
This brings us to the story of Erwin Mena. Beginning in the mid-'90s, he posed as a Catholic priest, wandering from parish to parish performing baptisms, taking confession, and soliciting donations from the faithful, all while insisting that people call him "padre." He had evidently studied theology at the school of Robert Rodriguez movies.
Of course, Mena was just pocketing the donations. He would continue loitering around until the local diocese caught wind of him, at which point he would leave a parting message and disappear, sort of like a fake reverend Batman. Meanwhile, the local bishop would declare the problem solved, and Mena would turn up somewhere else and begin his scam anew.
Erwin Mena / Facebook
"No, a camel couldn't go through the eye of a needle. What a silly thing to even mention."
When Mena was finally arrested, it turned out that filching donations from the collection plate was only his side gig. He had been working some larger cons that were meant to net some bigger profits. For example, he pirated a copy of a Spanish documentary on Pope Francis, then collected $16,000 to "produce" the film himself.
San Paolo Publishing Spanish Books
His "confessions" were nothing compared to the ones the feds forced out of him.