INDIANAPOLIS - A church on the city’s northeast side is in danger of foreclosure after a scam artist stole thousands of dollars from the church.
The congregation of Bell’s Chapel Church has big dreams to rebuild after a fire destroyed their old church and a bad investment left them with nothing.
After the church burned to the ground several years ago, an insurance company gave Bishop Adrienne Holmes a check to help rebuild. Church leaders gave that money and then some to Hrong Arman Gasparian -- a Fishers business man who they believed was a loan broker.
He told them he could turn their $400,000 into a $3 million grant. Construction started soon after that.
"Our builder began building based on a letter of intent from Mr. Gasparian. After 90 days there was no money from Mr. Gasparian and the story is told," Rev. Adrienne Holmes said.
Gasparian scammed the church out of everything they had planned including all the walls they wanted to build and all the lives they wanted to touch.
"Mr. Gasparian robbed God and he also robbed this community. This community is at a loss without this church here on the corner," Holmes said.
The congregation now meets in a borrowed building. Their numbers have been reduced from close to 200 members five years ago to less than 30 today.
Holmes said the bank is giving them six months to do one of two things: pay $190,000 or sell the property.
"We don't have anything. Only have 30 people. We don't have anything toward that," Holmes said.
If they fail, they face foreclosure and many think the only thing left to do is pray for a miracle.
"I have God's word and I'm standing on God's word. No matter what anybody says, I do not believe that God brought me this far to leave me and I do not believe this is the end of the road," Holmes said.
A federal judge is expected to sentence Gasparian within the next two months.