SALINAS - A former Monterey County couple are facing fraud and forgery charges for allegedly defrauding four elderly members of a Salinas church out of $100,000
John McClure, 42, was in the Monterey County Jail on Friday with a preliminary hearing scheduled next week. His wife, Amy McClure, 36, was cited and released at a hospital after having just had a baby, Deputy District Attorney Jaennine Pacioni said.
The couple allegedly took the money from four members of the Alisal Baptist Church over a four-year period between 2009 and 2013. He faces similar charges in El Dorado County, where they moved after leaving Monterey County, she said.
Pacioni said the alleged victims, all over 65 -- a couple, a woman whose husband has since died and another elderly man -- gave McClure money for bogus business loans and also had their checks forged.
John McClure faces four counts of forgery and four counts of theft from the elderly. His wife faces one charge of elder theft and one count of being an accomplice, Pacioni said.
John McClure was a church member and served as a lay pastor-counselor, she said. He wasn't on the church staff.
The investigation started when one of the victims went to Salinas police about a forged check. The other victims lived in county territory, and the case was taken by the Sheriff's Office.
A man who answered the phone at the Williams Road church identified himself as Pastor Arthur D. Harris. He said, "It is true. They defrauded some folks in our church."
He declined to speak further over the phone.