Impersonator Steals $183K From Mormon Church: Officials - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Impersonator Steals $183K From Mormon Church: Officials

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    Phila. Man Facing Prison After Mormon Church Bank Fraud

    Mark Postell could be in prison for up to 20 years after police said he impersonated a bishop at a Mormon church being built in Center City. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015)

    A man was arrested after he allegedly pretended to be the leader of a Philadelphia Mormon church in order to steal a PECO refund check of over $183,000.

    Mark Postell, 52, of Philadelphia, was arrested and charged with wire fraud after he allegedly stole from a Philadelphia Mormon church.

    The church was building a temple on Franklintown Boulevard in Philadelphia and had opened an account with PECO for electricity, investigators said. After PECO overbilled the church, they mailed them a refund check of $183,698.82 on April 15, according to officials. On April 30, officials with the church told PECO they never received the check.

    Investigators determined Postell somehow got a hold of the refund check before it arrived at the church and took it to a Philadelphia check cashing business on April 28. Once he was there, police say Postell claimed he was the pastor of the Church, even though Mormon church leaders are called Bishops, rather than pastors. Postell also allegedly claimed he lived at the construction site where the temple was being built.

    Police say the owner of the check cashing store believed Postell and deposited the refund. After it was processed by the bank a day later, Postell allegedly returned to the store and picked up $183,698.82 in cash.

    Investigators say they later uncovered Postell’s scheme. He was arrested and taken into custody.