The following comes from a February 24 LA Times article by Matt Hamilton and Irfan Khan:

The man who allegedly posed as a Roman Catholic priest at Los Angeles-area parishes and sold bogus trips to see Pope Francis pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of grand theft, prosecutors said.

Erwin Mena, 59, entered his plea in a downtown courtroom and was sentenced by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David M. Horwitz to one year in county jail and one year of mandatory supervision.

As part of his plea agreement, Mena must pay about $53,700 in restitution, L.A. County Deputy Dist. Atty. Tracey Stevens said.


Following a months-long investigation, LAPD detectives arrested Mena on Feb. 2 in Elysian Park. At the time, he was living out of his car, police said.

The archdiocese said that it is compiling information on those who lost money from Mena before moving forward with a plan to compensate the victims.