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Pastor in Austin charged with bilking dementia patient out of $40,000

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The pastor of an Austin church is accused of swindling $40,000 from an 82-year-old woman suffering from dementia.

David DeFor of Austin Church of Christ tells the Ausin Daily Herald he has done nothing wrong and has nothing to hide.

Citing the criminal complaint, the Herald reports DeFor befriended the woman while they were serving on the local Salvation Army chapter's board of directors in 2008. After learning she had been diagnosed with dementia, DeFor began helping her pay her bills and gained power of attorney in 2010.

The charges say that since then the woman has revised her will to leave 40 percent of her estate to DeFor and his church. The Daily Herald reports she was also donating $600 a month to a ministry operated by Church of Christ, although she allegedly told police she is a deacon at a different church and would donate to her own church before others.

Family members, who do not live in the area, brought their concerns to Mower County Human Services which notified the police, the Daily Herald says.

A court hearing to revoke the will and assign a new guardian is set for July 17th.

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