Parishioner Accused of Stealing $20,000 from Priest

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Man Arrested by SIU for Allegedly Stealing $20,000 From Brownsville Priest

A Brownsville man is facing one count of theft for allegedly defrauding a Catholic priest of $20,000. 31-year-old Hector Alberto Salinas was arrested by the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office Special Investigations Unit on Sunday at Veteran’s International Bridge in Brownsville.

According to an Arrest Affidavit, the victim was interested in purchasing an undeveloped property for $20,000 through Salinas, who claimed to be a licensed contractor. In January 2017, the victim gave Salinas $5,000 in cash and a $15,000 cashier’s check to complete the deal. The priest was hoping to use Salinas’ services to subsequently build a home on the property for his parents to visit him.

Salinas has been magistrated and will face a future court date for the felony Theft charge.

“It is very sad and unfortunate that a clergy member was swindled, but important to note that he believed Salinas because he was a member of his parish and thought he was trustworthy. If you may be a victim, please contact law enforcement or our office.” said Cameron County District Attorney Luis V. Saenz.

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