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Bridgeport pastor allegedly forged documents to steal church

Posted: Updated:
BRIDGEPORT -

Bridgeport police say they arrested a local minister for allegedly forging documents as part of a scheme to steal the church where he serves as pastor.

Bishop Franklin Fountain, of the Fountain of Youth Cathedral on Madison Avenue, is charged with larceny and forgery. Parishioners are reacting with astonishment to allegations Fountain stole the church and other property owned by the church valued at $1.5 million.

Police say the 55-year-old Fountain forged documents in order to illegally take possession, for the cost of $1, of the church, along with a neighboring house owned by the church.

According to police, members of Fountain's family became suspicious and brought their concerns to investigators. Detective Frank Podpolucha says the family was determined to take whatever action was necessary.

Family friend Wayne Winston says the whole situation is a bombshell for Bridgeport.

"The Fountain family is historically connected to churches, ministers, pastors, bishops, throughout the city and elsewhere," Winston says. "This has got to be a great blow to them."

Fountain's daughter defended him in a statement to News 12.

"This is an in-family issue turned bad because of anger...a brother mad at another brother," said Myla Hood. "My dad is a humble person who would never steal from God. We got his back 100% and will stand behind him."

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