A New Jersey pastor, Mark-Anthony Rassmann, has been charged with four counts of theft for allegedly forging a dead church member’s signature.
According to the police, the reverend at Mount Pisgah A.M.E. Church in Haddonfield, N.J., almost got away with forging a deceased member’s signature and transferring four of her Camden, N.J., properties to his ownership.
But his scheme went bad, police say, when the woman’s daughter noticed the fake signatures and reported it to authorities.
Rassmann turned himself in to authorities on Thursday. After his release on $2,000 bail Sunday, he left jail, went to church and even held services.
"We will have our day in court,” he told reporters in a statement. “I have done nothing illegal or unethical in my capacity as pastor of Greater Mount Pisgah Church of Haddonfield."
Church member Jerry Butler told MSNBC, “We all love our reverend. He’s a great pastor and we’ll go through hell and high water, you understand, to make sure he’s exonerated of all these false charges.”
Rassmann's attorney, Salvatore Siciliano, said he can't share details of the investigation but says the charges do not affect his client's role as pastor.
"There are matters currently pending against him and he has heeded the advice of his counsel to refrain from discussing any aspect of the case with anyone," he said.