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Man Bilked Co-Parishioners of $545,000

MANHATTAN (CN) - A federal jury on Tuesday convicted a New York man of defrauding members of his church of at least $545,000, after taking baptism classes and then joining El Camino Church, in the Washington Heights area of Manhattan.

Bryant I. Rodriguez, who used several aliases, was arrested and charged in late December 2008. He claimed to have contacts to sell electronics, and took about $960,000 in "investments" from his co-parishioners, only $415,000 of which he returned, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Rodriguez, 44, was convicted of mail fraud.

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