Credit union loan officer helps police arrest accused ‘con artist’ pastor

Clergyman who allegedly used 91-year-old member to get a loan to buy a boat faces embezzlement charges.

The sharp eyes of a credit union loan officer led to the arrest of a pastor who attempted to take out a loan for a pontoon boat with a power of attorney document allegedly signed by a 91-year-old member of the $721 million ELGA Credit Union based in Burton, Mich.

Raymond M. Vliet Jr., 55, of Flint, was charged last week with two felony counts of alleged embezzlement from a vulnerable adult, according to Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell. Vliet is the pastor of the Old Beth-el General Baptist Church in Flushing.

“This is another case of a con artist and swindler masquerading in a profession that allowed him to disguise his scam with relative impunity,” Pickell said during a news conference posted on YouTube by MLive, a news site.

According to police, Vliet took the elderly man, a church member who reportedly has dementia, to ELGA CU’s Flushing branch to apply for a loan to buy a boat.


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