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The skinny

The skinny: Pastor turns out to be same ol' con man

Bilking congregants

Pastor turns out to be same ol' con man

A former pastor and notorious con man was sentenced to five years in federal prison Monday for stealing $3.6 million from his San Diego church and its members. U.S. District Judge Michael Anello said the tale of betrayal made three-time felon Barry Minkow, 48, one of the worst white-collar criminals. Minkow earlier ran a scam that cost home builder Lennar Corp. $580 million in lost stock value. Before that he was a famous millionaire as a teenager in the 1980s for founding the ZZZZ Best carpet cleaning company, which became embroiled in a $100 million fraud. He went to prison, was released in 1995 and two years later became pastor of San Diego Community Bible Church. From 2001 to 2011 he stole $1.7 million and obtained $1.9 million in loans that are unlikely to be repaid, prosecutors said. In a letter to the judge, he apologized and asked for leniency. The judge didn't go for it.

Back from the past

Hi-yo, Silver! It's Lone Ranger's gun

A museum in Wyoming has acquired an old pistol made famous by a masked hero of television from more than 60 years ago: The Lone Ranger's Colt .45 is now on display at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody. The revolver belonged to actor John Hart. He portrayed the Lone Ranger in the TV series that ran from 1952 to 1954, about a masked Texas Ranger who battled injustice in the Old West. The gun is special, featuring ivory grips and intricate engraving. Clayton Moore also played the masked man on TV.

A snake tale

Walk in forest isn't what he expected

Austrian police are looking for the owner of a large python — and the driver who found it may think twice before picking the next spot to stretch his legs. Police said Monday they were called to the scene about 60 miles west of Vienna after the driver stumbled onto the nearly 10-foot reptile packed in a jute sack in a forest near a highway. A pet store is caring for the snake for now.

Compiled from wire services

The skinny: Pastor turns out to be same ol' con man 04/28/14 [Last modified: Monday, April 28, 2014 10:47pm]
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