Ranulfo Luther Raposo of the Seventh-day Adventist Church pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges including attempted larceny and identity fraud. He was granted $5,000 bail.
Police said the alleged victims are in their 70s and 80s; live in Michigan, New Mexico and Arkansas; and are unconnected with the church.
Authorities told The Sun Chronicle of Attleboro (Mass.) the 51-year-old Raposo convinced them to disclose their Social Security numbers by telling them they were lottery winners. He then allegedly tried to have their checks redirected to his own bank account. He never got the money.
Raposo’s lawyer said his client is the victim.