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Tahitian-born Damas Tutehau Flohr (69), used his friendship with the pastor and others to obtain large amounts of money he said was needed to free up millions of dollars being held for him in a New York bank.
But the millions never eventuated and, as well as the unknown amount of cash Flohr himself lost earlier to the scam, seven of his fellow church members were poorer by a total of $853,215.
Full report tomorrow's Otago Daily Times