Po­lice: Se­rial church re­pair con man ac­cused of Stam­ford swin­dle

Stamford Advocate - - News - By John Nick­er­son jnick­er­son @stam­for­dad­vo­cate.com

STAM­FORD — A Bris­tol man, who one Mas­sachusetts at­tor­ney turned pas­tor called the best con man he’d ever met, has been ac­cused of tak­ing $7,500 for re­pairs he never did on a down­town church.

Mar­cus McClen­nan, 45, was charged this week with third-de­gree lar­ceny and was held in lieu of a $100,000 court ap­pear­ance bond.

McClen­nan is ac­cused of de­posit­ing a check from St. John’s Epis­co­pal Church for roof re­pairs, but never showed up for the job.

Fi­nan­cial Crimes Sgt. Sean Boeger de­ter­mined the church ob­tained a $30,000 es­ti­mate from McClen­nan, who rep­re­sented him­self as Trum­bull Ar­chi­tec­tural Restora­tion, and wrote him a deposit check for $7,523.75 in July 2017.

Af­ter cash­ing the check, po­lice said McClen­nan made sev­eral ex­cuses for not do­ing the re­pairs, in­clud­ing say­ing his fa­ther was sick and he was go­ing through a di­vorce.

The parish’s rec­tor, Rev. James Wheeler, sent McClen­nan a let­ter at the end of 2017, say­ing the church was can­cel­ing its con­tract due to lack of per­for­mance and asked for the deposit to be re­turned.

As news sur­faced about the al­leged theft, po­lice be­came aware of two other Con­necti­cut churches with sim­i­lar com­plaints against McClen­nan.

Rev. Christo­pher Files, of Trin­ity Lutheran Church, said McClen­nan de­posited a $5,250 check in July 2017 for $10,500 worth of work to the roof and in­te­rior of his Mil­ford church, Boeger said. Boeg- er said McClen­nan gave sim­i­lar ex­cuses to Files for not do­ing the job.

Boeger said re­tired at­tor­ney Don­ald Peters, who is the spir­i­tual leader of Saints Con­stan­tine and He­len Greek Ortho­dox Parish in Chicopee, Mass., wrote a $10,500 check to McClen­nan for $20,000 worth of work to re­fur­bish the in­te­rior of the church’s roof.

Peters said the ren­ova- tions were for the church’s 100th an­niver­sary in May, but were never done. Peters said McClen­nan did not re­turn the deposit.

“He is one of the best con men I have ever come across,” Peters told the Stam­ford Ad­vo­cate.

In the af­fi­davit, Boeger said he was un­able to reach McClen­nan.

Ac­cord­ing to the Sec­re­tary of State, the busi­ness was reg­is­tered as a lim­ited li­a­bil­ity com­pany in 2012.

“The af­fi­ant be­lieves that sus­pect Mar­cus McClel­lan has shown a pat­tern of acts in which he ac­cepts de­posits for re­pair work from churches and never com­pletes any of the agreed upon work while fail­ing to re­turn the de­posits to the churches,” the af­fi­davit said.


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