Iowa charges man accused of running scam in several states

Published 7:55 am Friday, June 16, 2017

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Iowa authorities have charged a man who they say has been scamming churchgoers in several states by telling them he needed to get home because his parents had been killed by a roadside bomb in the Middle East.

Online court records say 41-year-old Alan Farha II is charged with theft in Linn County. Jail records say he remained in custody Thursday. His attorney didn’t immediately return a call from The Associated Press.

Cedar Rapids police investigators estimate Farha received $5,000-$6,000 from several people after making his pleas at several area churches.

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Court records show convictions on similar accusations in other states. He was sentenced to 9 months and ordered to pay restitution last July in Milwaukee. In February 2016 he was given five years’ probation by a Rochester, Minnesota, judge.