Ex-clergy accused of stealing elderly womans home
Shirley Hawkins | 6/25/2008, 5 p.m.
A 71-year old ordained minister was charged Wednesday and is facing arraignment Monday on grand theft, forgery and other charges.
The Los Angeles County district attorney's office stated that Leroy Dowd, who headed the now-defunct Triumph Church of God in Los Angeles, tricked an 87-year-old Claremont woman into signing over the grant deed of her home estimated at $800,000.
Prosecutors said he met the woman through the church in 2006 and deceived her by claiming that he could help her secure widow's benefits from Medicare and Social Security.
Eight days later, Dowd sold the house to an acquaintance, Bessie Mae Moore, who obtained financing through Alexander Trevino, a loan officer who worked at a Glendale mortgage business. He is accused of falsifying the financial information on Moore's loan application.
Moore, 61, and Trevino, 31, both of Los Angeles, are charged with helping Dowd obtain financing to pull off the scheme. The charges carry aggravated white-collar crime and excessive-taking enhancements. Dowd allegedly made more than $775,000 on the scheme that netted the defendants more than $1.3 million.
Dowd, Trevino and Moore are each charged with two counts of grand theft along with one count each of identity theft and forgery.
All three could face more than 10 years in prison if convicted.