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LB pastor charged with stealing 170K from a veteran with schizophrenia


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State prosecutors have charged Long Beach-area pastor Misi Tagaloa for allegedly embezzling over $100,000 from a veteran with Schizophrenia for years, according to a report by the LB Post.


Backstory:

Rev. Misi Tagaloa, the senior pastor at the Second Samoan Congregational Church, was charged by the California Attorney General's office with multiple felony counts over accusations that he misappropriated up to $170,000 of VA benefits from Peter Campbell, a homeless Air Force veteran who suffers from schizophrenia.

  • Campbell's family tracked him down to a location in Long Beach in 2017 after he vanished from his sister's house in North Carolina in the early 2000s.

  • Tagaloa gained power of attorney over Campbell in 2016 when the veteran lived in a home operated by the church and several other homeless men.

Details:

Tagaloa stans accused of using Campbell's benefits to rent sound equipment, buy suits, eat at restaurants, and thousands of dollars to Tagaloa's church. At the same time, church staff asked Campell's sister to buy food and toiletries for him.

  • Campbell's family says Tagaloa neglected their father, prompting his health to worsen; the veteran died last year.

  • According to the affidavit, Tagaloa made over 50 'suspicious purchases' with Cambell's VA benefits.

  • The Post reported that Cambell was living at the church as early as 2013.

  • Tagaloa ran for the Long Beach City Council three times, most recently in 2019.

Where things stand:

Rev Tagaloa pleaded not guilty and is currently free on a $70,000 bond. He is awaiting trial.



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