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Investor accused of defrauding burned-down church

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An investor has been charged with defrauding an Indianapolis church of nearly $400,000 that it gave him as it tried to raise more money to rebuild after a fire.

Arman Gasparian, the owner of Indianapolis-based GMA Capital, told leaders of Bell's Chapel Church he would use $365,000 as earnest money to obtain a $3 million private grant toward replacing the church building destroyed in a 2008 fire, according to court documents.

The counts of mail fraud and wire fraud allege that Gasparian put the money into his own bank accounts, took double the $35,000 fee he disclosed to church officials and paid much of the remainder of the money to associates.

Gasparian made an initial appearance Wednesday in federal court on the charges. Defense attorney Mike Donahoe declined to comment Thursday to The Associated Press.

Rev. Adrienne Holmes, the church's pastor, said the congregation on the city's east side still needed the money that came from its $1.3 insurance settlement to finish rebuilding work.

"It did me good to see him coming in court in shackles. It made my day," Holmes told WRTV. "God is getting his vengeance."

Holmes said the church needed to complete plumbing, heating and electrical work on its gym to open it up for children in the low-income neighborhood.

"I believe," she said. "I have my faith, and that's what I am standing on — my faith."

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  1. If I were a developer I would be looking at the Fountain Square and Fletcher Place neighborhoods instead of Broad Ripple. I would avoid the dysfunctional BRVA with all of their headaches. It's like deciding between a Blackberry or an iPhone 5s smartphone. BR is greatly in need of updates. It has become stale and outdated. Whereas Fountain Square, Fletcher Place and Mass Ave have become the "new" Broad Ripples. Every time I see people on the strip in BR on the weekend I want to ask them, "How is it you are not familiar with Fountain Square or Mass Ave? You have choices and you choose BR?" Long vacant storefronts like the old Scholar's Inn Bake House and ZA, both on prominent corners, hurt the village's image. Many business on the strip could use updated facades. Cigarette butt covered sidewalks and graffiti covered walls don't help either. The whole strip just looks like it needs to be power washed. I know there is more to the BRV than the 700-1100 blocks of Broad Ripple Ave, but that is what people see when they think of BR. It will always be a nice place live, but is quickly becoming a not-so-nice place to visit.

  2. I sure hope so and would gladly join a law suit against them. They flat out rob people and their little punk scam artist telephone losers actually enjoy it. I would love to run into one of them some day!!

  3. Biggest scam ever!! Took 307 out of my bank ac count. Never received a single call! They prey on new small business and flat out rob them! Do not sign up with these thieves. I filed a complaint with the ftc. I suggest doing the same ic they robbed you too.

  4. Woohoo! We're #200!!! Absolutely disgusting. Bring on the congestion. Indianapolis NEEDS it.

  5. So Westfield invested about $30M in developing Grand Park and attendance to date is good enough that local hotel can't meet the demand. Carmel invested $180M in the Palladium - which generates zero hotel demand for its casino acts. Which Mayor made the better decision?

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