Skip to main content

Minnesota pastor pleads not guilty to charges of swindling elderly woman

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A pastor from Southern Minnesota has pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges that he swindled an elderly woman with dementia, WDAY-TV reports.

The Rev. David DeFor is facing charges of financially exploiting a vulnerable adult after he was accused of swindling more than $42,000 from an 82-year-old woman with dementia.

Court records in Mower County Court allege Defor and his wife first received $11,000 from the woman after she gave the pastor her power of attorney in July 2010; and $15,000 to the Austin Church of Christ -- where DeFor is pastor -- at the time.

Another $21,000 was withdrawn by the woman from her account for expenses related to the pastor, authorities allege.

The Austin Daily Herald reports that the woman also rewrote her will in 2011 to leave 25 percent of her estate to Defor and his wife, and another 15 percent to the Church of Christ. The will also said the woman would leave her personal effects to the DeFors, including a 2002 Buick LeSabre as well as three bags of her jewelry, which the pastor kept at his home.

Mower County District Judge Fred Wellmann revoked the woman's will at a July 17 civil court hearing, the Herald reports, and DeFor was removed as power of attorney over her finances in May.

The judge also appointed Hope Guardianship Services permanent guardianship over the woman.

DeFor will be in Mower County District Court for a pretrial hearing in October and his trial date is set for Nov. 4.

Next Up

Brandon Gardas

St. Michael standoff suspect charged, bail set at $10 million

A judge on Monday set the high bail due to "very significant concerns of public safety" regarding Brandon Gardas.


Minnesota's premier trauma center housed at HCMC

The Minneapolis center is nationally recognized in pediatric trauma

Crisp & Green

Crisp & Green opening 13th store in Twin Cities in July

The fast-casual salad and grains restaurant has exploded onto the food scene.

FLickr - Target Field 2019 - mark grabe

Twins to host post-game concert with country star at Target Field

Country singer Cole Swindell is expected to perform for up to 75 minutes after the conclusion of the Blue Jays-Twins contest.


Canton Restaurant closes after nearly 40 years in Burnsville

It's the end of an era in the Twin Cities restaurant world.

Screen Shot 2022-06-27 at 12.47.20 PM

Luck strikes in Minnesota: lottery winners in Duluth, Grand Marais

The North Shore just so happened to be a lucky place to be this past weekend.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, June 27

BA.5 is expected to become the dominant subvariant in Minnesota.

police lights squad car

60-year-old woman arrested after firing shots inside Spicer home

SWAT evacuated nearby residents during the incident.

Florida Georgia Line

Florida Georgia Line booked to play at the Minnesota State Fair

The band is the second country music act to be booked this year.


First case of monkeypox confirmed in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Health says the risk to the public is "considered low" at this time.

lightning, storm

Isolated severe weather in Minnesota on Tuesday and Wednesday

Definitely not a slam dunk either day, but the chance is there.