The following comes from a January 5 Fox LA story by Gina Silva:
He’s known as “Father Erwin Mena”. Since the mid 1990’s he’s been celebrating mass at Catholic churches throughout California. He’s held prayer meetings, paid counseling sessions and nights of confession in the dioceses of San Bernardino, Stockton, Orange, and Fresno.
But he’s not really a priest. His real name is Erwin Arnaldo Menacastro, 49 years old. Detectives say he’s a fake wanted by the LAPD for swindling thousands of dollars from believers. His latest ploy was selling tickets for a pilgrimage to New York and Philadelphia to visit with Pope Francis during his last U.S. tour.
Detectives say the Pope-Tour scam netted Mena more than $15,000 from unsuspecting victims, many from low income families.