Man accused of running scam in several states

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, June 15, 2017

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa  — Iowa authorities have charged a man who they said 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 said 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 nine months and ordered to pay restitution last July in Milwaukee. In February 2016 he was given five years’ probation by a Rochester judge.