LOS ANGELES — Erwin Mena officiated mass, took confessions and performed weddings and funerals for years.
But he’s not really a priest.
Los Angeles prosecutors say Mena collected $53,000 from parishioners while pretending to be a priest at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Glassell Park and St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Church.
Mena faces 19 counts of grand theft of property worth more than $950 and eight instances of alleged petty theft.
Mena is also charged with perjury, forgery and one count of practicing medicine without a license.
If convicted, he could face 21 years behind bars.