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Pastor charged with stealing $100K from church

A former Greenfield pastor has been charged in connection with the theft of more than $100,000 from a Madison Township church.

The Highland County Sheriff's Office reported that James A. Blaine, 61, now of San Antonio, Texas, was arrested Tuesday on a third-degree felony theft charge tied to a case involving the Good Shepherd Church in Madison Township.

The charge was the result of a seven-month investigation by Highland County detectives into allegations that Blaine stole money from the church by forging names and documents that were then submitted to financial institutions.

In this way, Blaine is accused of receiving money in the name of the church and putting it to his own personal use between 2004 and 2009, authorities said.

The arrest was made in Hamilton County by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Fugitive/Warrant Squad at a bankruptcy hearing Blaine had initiated.

Blaine was taken to the Highland County Justice Center on a $100,000 bond pending an arraignment appearance in Hillsboro Municipal Court.

The case also has been presented to the Highland County Prosecutor's Office for presentation to an upcoming session of the Highland County grand jury, where additional felony charges are likely.

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