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Indiana

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Church struck by fire, conned by swindler

INDIANAPOLIS – An Indianapolis church that has served the community since 1925 is fighting for its survival after being swindled out of $400,000.

Bell’s Chapel Church is facing foreclosure at year’s end, and many members have left after a man claiming to be a loan broker promised to secure a grant to rebuild the church after it was destroyed in a 2008 fire. Instead, The Indianapolis Star reports (http://indy.st/1r5OSAP) he spent the money.

Hrond Arman Gasparian of Fishers was convicted in June on 10 counts of wire fraud.

Bishop Adrienne Holmes says the church property is for sale but will go into foreclosure in December if no buyer is found.

The congregation has dropped from 175 members to 30 since the fraud.

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