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10/23/2013 2:04:00 PM
Kingman man suspected in series of scams nationwide
Police say he tried to defraud churches
Steven Brown
Steven Brown

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA - A Kingman man arrested in Cedar Rapids Monday may be a suspect in a series of scams involving churches around the country.

Steven Brown, 49, has been charged with third-degree theft for using a stolen credit card to check into a Cedar Rapids hotel.

Earlier Monday, Cedar Rapids police issued a warning to churches in the area to be on the alert for a "potential scam" involving a man with this story: He would claim to be moving to Cedar Rapids and ask local churches for financial help with his hotel bill until he could cash a check. Police cited reports about a "serial...scam artist" who had approached congregations in other parts of the country.

Brown was convicted of a misdemeanor in connection to church scams in Georgia. Three churches in Louisiana have filed complaints against him.

A church in Oklahoma didn't give Brown money, but called police when he came calling. A posting on social media indicates Brown approached churches in Omaha with his story.

Cedar Rapids police say no one from a church in their area has reported having contact with Brown.

(Story by O. Kay Henderson used with permission of

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Article comment by: John Telgren

This man also came here and scammed money from our church under false pretenses here in the Kansas City Area. He has been using the same story everywhere he goes.

Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Article comment by: How Nice

This guy is sure setting a fine example for kingman all over the country, im sure some of those folks can't wait to come here next summer for the route 66 fest.

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