A woman claiming to be a disenchanted Mormon missionary has conned scores of churches across the country out of thousands of dollars’ worth of cash, food, housing, medical care, and travel.

Bobbie Dintino, who allegedly has used as many as 40 aliases, has been identified with incidents at churches in more than a dozen states, including Pennsylvania, Florida, Indiana, Utah, Washington, and Alaska. She was confronted last March in Sacramento, California, by leaders of the Capital Christian Center and Dick Baer, founder and director of Ex-Mormons and Christian Alliance.

Baer had been contacted by Dintino several months earlier and began to trace her activities. According to Baer, the 28-year-old woman usually tells church leaders that she is ready to renounce her Mormon beliefs and wants to learn more about Christianity. She says her family has disowned her and thrown her out, leaving her destitute. Mormon officials are chasing her to “silence her,” she says, so she asks that her name and story not be told to anyone. She then professes a conversion to Christianity and is baptized.

In most of the cases Baer has researched, Dintino did not ask directly for money, but often received hundreds of dollars in aid from sympathetic Christians, he said. When confronted in Sacramento, she left behind belongings that included eight Bibles from various churches.

In addition to calling on Assemblies of God, Southern Baptist, Evangelical Free, Four-Square, and Calvary Chapel churches, Dintino has reversed her story to con Mormon churches as well.

Dintino was convicted in March 1987 of theft by deception by officials in Cedar City, Utah. According to county attorney Scott Burns, she was baptized into at least 50 Mormon churches before her arrest.

Several churches have confronted Dintino during the past two years. Local authorities have been reluctant to pursue prosecution of Dintino because of the relatively small amounts of money involved in each scam. She was last identified in Birmingham, Alabama, where she told a Christian group she was a former Jehovah’s Witness.

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