This would make a good headline for The Onion. Sadly, it's not satire at all.
Harris Himes, who calls himself "pastor" of the Big Sky Christian Center in Montana (the address of which is Himes's post office box), got himself in a bit of hot water recently. He and another "pastor," James "Jeb" Bryant, apparently swindled an investor out of $150,000 by claiming to own a business called Duratherm Building Systems and promising good returns. From the Missoulian:
The charges included theft, fraud, conspiracy to commit both, failure to register a security and failure to register as a salesman of same.
According to court records, Himes and Bryant claimed to own a business, Duratherm Building Systems, and promised at least one investor a large return on his $150,000. But the investor claimed to have never received any returns or confirmation of sale, nor could he get his money back.
Duratherm Building Systems was connected to another company, Monarch Beach Properties, which Himes and Bryant claimed was a "type of parent corporation." The state investigation revealed several inconsistencies with respect to these companies. For one, Monarch is solely owned by Bryant and his wife, and the business address linked to the money-wiring instructions given to the alleged victim is for an apartment complex in Rockville, Md. The state of Maryland has no listing for Monarch.
Duratherm has a website that lists Mexican and U.S. phone contact numbers. The U.S. phone number has a 202 area code, indicating Washington, D.C. Rockville is just outside Washington, D.C., and when the number is dialed the voice on the message claims to be James Bryant, who then signs off with "Have a blessed day."
Whoopsie. And, to top it all off, according to the Missoulian:
...Harris Himes' legal troubles may put more than a dozen homeless people back out on the street after a Hamilton shelter cut ties with him.
Himes is being charged with six felonies. He turned himself in after learning that there was a warrant out for his arrest.
But he's goin' down swingin'! Shortly after his release from jail, he called into a Montana radio station to defend himself. And what better way to defend himself than to blame the gays? Himes, who is involved with the anti-gay Montana Eagle Forum and who once said that gays "shall surely be put to death" during hearings on the Montana bill overturning pro-LGBT local ordinances, is alleging that gay activists are just trying to take him down. Apparently, the gays, conspiring with pro-choice activists and Montana's insurance commissioner, are the ones behind the arrest. Surely he wasn't arrested because he, you know, swindled an investor out of $150,000. Ridiculous!
Peter Christian of KGVO radio's "Talkback" show mentioned the charges against Himes on Thursday morning and Himes called in to respond. He told Christian he is an attorney, but knows better than to represent himself.
Himes, went on to claim that gay and pro-abortion activists may be behind the charges against him and co-defendant James "Jeb" Bryant, another self-proclaimed pastor.
Himes further claimed that State Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen may also be behind the charges because of political disagreements they've had in the past. Other callers quickly, and forcefully, called him out for making groundless accusations.
Harris Himes: just another victim of The Homosexual Agenda.
I don't see this story ending well for Himes.