South Georgia churches ripped off by con artist - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgia churches ripped off by con artist

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November 16, 2007

Albany --An Albany man is arrested for ripping off tens of thousands of dollars from two South Georgia churches. Investigators say he used his small stature, he's only four feet four inches tall, to get sympathy.  

 Investigators say they know there are other churches who have been taken by this man, and are asking those victims to contact them.

The Reverend Albert Bob said they welcomed 51 year old Jeryl Boles into the New Macedonia Baptist Church congregation earlier this year.  Bob said "we trusted him because he joined, and he came as a Christian, under Christian experience. And we trusted him."

 But now he is the Dougherty County Jail, charged with stealing more than $30,000 from the tiny South Albany church.  Dougherty County Sheriff's Investigator Captain Craig Dodd said "he's a con artist."

Boles is only four feet, four inches tall, but Investigators say he is a big time crook, who uses his small size to con Pastors and Deacons.  Dodd said "this physical problem that he has, and makes people think he is not actually what he is. Which is a con man. And he works on their sympathy."

 Investigators say Boles convinced leaders at the New Macedonia Baptist Church and the Bright Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church in Worth County that he was a grant writer, and could help the churches get grant money for new construction projects. That was the way he got the church's financial information.  Bob said "once he got our information he went to work. He started opening accounts and getting credit cards and different stuff like that in our name."

Boles even bought a new car. But his scheme fell apart when the Church was notified by one bank that they owed $31,000.  Bob said "so that's when we got up, got ahold of him, and went and filed charges."

Boles was arrested September 20th, and Investigators are still unraveling his crimes. The Reverend says there are many other churches that were also conned.  Bob said "I know for a fact that he hit several of them. Some filed complaints, and other said they were going to."

Now Dougherty County Sheriff's Investigators are asking churches that have been conned by Boles to call them. They are sure there are many more victims of this con artist in South Georgia, and they want to make sure he pays for all his sins.

Jeryl Boles was previously convicted of doing the same thing in Houston and Taylor Counties.   If you've had an encounter with him, please call the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office at 229-431-3222.

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