Conman-turned-pastor convicted of cheating church

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Updated: 1/22/2014 6:21 pm

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A man who went from teenage millionaire to convicted con artist to fraud fighter and pastor has been convicted of cheating his San Diego church congregation out of some $3 million.

Federal prosecutors say Barry Minkow pleaded guilty Wednesday to embezzling funds from the San Diego Community Bible Church. He's already in prison on a 2011 securities fraud conviction.

Under the plea, Minkow admitted that he opened unauthorized church bank accounts, forged signatures on checks and used member donations for personal benefit.

Minkow gained national attention as a teenager in the 1980s by founding a carpet-cleaning company that made him wealthy, but he went to prison for fraud in 1988.

After his release, Minkow founded an institute that helped law enforcement uncover white-collar crimes and became a pastor.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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