A 55-year-old Arvada minister has been arrested and charged with allegedly scamming an elderly couple out of more than a quarter-million dollars, promising contractor work that he never completed.
Denver’s district attorney charged Tilo David Lopez Jr. with two counts of criminal exploitation of an at-risk adult, the DA’s office announced in a Monday news release.
Lopez operated Remodeling Specialists LLC and also served as a youth pastor at the Forge Denver Church that meets at the Arvada North Middle School, according to his arrest warrant.
The charges stem from an investigation launched in October 2021 over complaints of elder fraud.
Lopez knew the two victims, a husband and wife living in Denver, for many years, frequenting their restaurant with his mother, the arrest warrant states. The minister also worked with their grandchildren.
The couple “trusted Tilo Lopez completely,” protectors alleged.
Authorities say he obtained significant down payments for work to be carried out at properties the couple owned, and that he convinced them to take loans to fund the project.
“The funds were subsequently exhausted,” prosecutors said. But Lopez allegedly never completed the work, transferring a “substantial portion” of the funds to his personal account. Prosecutors say he used the money for plane tickets, clothes, Jeep tours and massages.
The church’s Instagram page says Lopez and his wife “truly have a shepherd’s heart to lead and care for people well.”
Other posts promote a food Olympics event with prizes.
Anyone who believed they may have been a victim of this alleged scam are encouraged to call investigator David Dawson at 720-913-9054.
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