Pastor admits to ripping off several landlords - KCTV5 News

Pastor admits to ripping off several landlords

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A Leavenworth pastor has pleaded guilty to three felony counts of passing worthless checks.

At least five landlords said Wednesday that Jimmie Hancock used his status as a pastor to take advantage of them. Churches often provide housing for their spiritual leaders.

"He's pretty sly to the system," Leavenworth Realtor Larry Hackett said. "He tries every trick in the book."

Hancock's scheme was writing a bad check under his church's name and blaming them when the check bounced.

Hackett met Hancock in the fall of 2011 when Hancock wanted to rent to own a Lansing home owned by Hackett. Hancock said he was pastor at the Miracle of Faith Church and they would handle the financing to get the home purchased.

Hackett got a starter check for $1,500 from Hancock, which appeared to be signed by an unknown church member. Hancock moved in.

But when Hackett tried to cash the check, the bank told him there was insufficient funds. When Hackett confronted Hancock, he said the pastor insisted that he was insist and that it was the fault of the church.

He recalled Hancock saying, "This is the church doing this. I'm a victim too, Larry."

After a few weeks, Hackett began the eviction process and eventually got Hancock removed. But the pastor then went to another home and repeated the same scheme. And he did this again and again. He would be in a home for a few months and then evicted only to pull the same ruse again.

Landlords and real estate agents began to talk and word made it to the authorities.

"Realtors and property management services started realizing he was hitting all of these facilities and they came together and said something needed to be done," Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson said.

Altogether, more than $10,000 in bad checks were written on Hancock's behalf.

"These people all trusted him because of his vocation and I think that's why he was able to sustain it for so long," Thompson said.

A judge on Wednesday ordered Hancock to repay the money. He will be sentenced Aug. 2.

And Hackett is no longer so trusting after he said his trust was violated.

"Just because he says he's a pastor, you better check him out a little closer," he said. "He had a good story."

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