OKLAHOMA CITY — Church leaders believe they were targeted by someone trying to scam them out of money.
Officials at Penn South Church of Christ said they were approached by a man with a hard-luck story and in need of money.
The church said the man, identified as Steven Brown, was accused of doing the same thing at churches in Georgia and Louisiana.
“This guy had a really good story. He had it well-rehearsed. He was very slick,” Deacon Larry Fuller said.
Fuller said Brown told them he was a pilot moving to Oklahoma City and needed $280 to get by until his family arrived.
Church leaders noticed a few inconstancies in his story and did a background check
They found two news stories out of Lake Charles, Louisiana and Thomasville, Georgia.
Fuller said each church told a similar story about how Brown claimed he was pilot and was planning to move to the area
The churches said they gave Brown hundreds of dollars to help him out.
Authorities in Georgia arrested Brown on two counts of theft by deception
Police tell us the charges involve two churches
A detective said the charges were dropped to a misdemeanor so Brown could be released and work to pay back the churches.
In Louisiana, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office said three churches also filed complaints
It is still an open investigation because they have yet to interview Brown.
When we approached Brown outside his Oklahoma City hotel, he denied any wrongdoing
Brown said he didn’t know about the accusations in Lake Charles
He did not want to comment on his arrest in Georgia.
“It’s not something that I want to discuss any longer,” Brown said. “No, I’m not on trial I don’t feel the need to make a defense.”
The Penn South Church of Christ has contacted the Oklahoma City Police about the incident
Both the church and Brown said they did not exchange any money.