Police investigating after Fayetteville church scammed by grant writer

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Fayetteville police are investigating after a local church says they were scammed by a grant writer.

Pastor Karen Evans of New Life Ministries was really looking forward to bringing new life to their blueprints.

"We have 16 acres of land that we've purchased out in Hope Mills. So we wanted to start off with starting a community center," said Evans
Eager to get the ball rolling, Stephanie Allen; a member at New Life Ministries of Murchison Road helped the church hire a grant writer that she knew.

"So I talked with her on the phone, she said Pastor Adams I'm so glad to work with you. She asked me for so many things, budget, and brochure," said Pastor Evans.

That initial discussion took place last fall. The writer was paid in full. Months go by, still no grant.

"She would call and say 'everything is looking good.' I heard from somebody, they said it's in the process and it's looking good," Evans said.

Fast forward to today, still no grant.

"We haven't seen an application, nothing have we seen from her," said Evans.

The last correspondence Evans had from the grant writer was from December where the writer said she was 'putting them in the mail.' Bank of America, who the grant was addressed to told Evans they don't accept applications that way.
"She said, you can only go through our website and go online and submit everything through cyber and I was outdone," said Evans.

Evans went on to explain how the grant writer went out of her way to make a fictitious email showing a response from Bank of America.

Eyewitness News analyzed the email very closely, the address for the bank wasn't real. The phone number listed rings to another money scam.

ABC11 worked to track down the grant writer using the address on the invoice but she wasn't home.

Meanwhile, the Fayetteville Police Department's Fraud Unit is investigating the case. They haven't named the grant writer as a suspect yet however Pastor Evans has a word for her.

"We just want to stop her from doing this to anyone else. For me, it's a church. For me it's not personal for me it's a church that you deceived," said Evans.
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