Arrest made after alleged con men ‘used God’s name’ to dupe victim

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Arrest made after alleged con men ‘used God’s name’ to dupe victim

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Winder Police Department
Bernard Candies
  • Story Highlights
  • Police in Winder arrested one of three men accused of fraud and elder exploitation.
  • Bernard Candies is being held in jail without bond in connection to the Aug. 23 scam.
  • Two additional suspects are believed to be avoiding arrest.

A man accused of walking up to a Walmart customer and defrauding him in the name of charity has been arrested, police said.

Bernard Candies is being held without bond on charges of felony fraud, exploitation of the elderly and a probation violation, Winder police Capt. Chris Cooper said.

The 61-year-old is one of two men who allegedly convinced Walter Hosch of Winder to withdraw $15,000 from an ATM on Aug. 23, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. A third suspect is accused of driving the getaway car, Cooper said.

Hosch told police Candies and another man asked about his faith and used his Christian beliefs against him in a scam built around a children’s charity.

Two men are suspected in a scam that happened in Winder. (Credit: Winder Police Department)

“They used God’s name, Jesus’ name, and tricked me,” he said.

When Hosch, Candies and another man prayed together over the money, someone switched the bank envelope with an envelope filled with newspaper, Hosch told police.

“The men convinced the victim to not open the cloth or the envelope until he got home or else the prayer would not work,” Cooper said. 

Arrest warrants have been issued for two 63-year-old men: Sylvester Jackson and Marvin Scott.

Sylvester Jackson, Marvin Scott (Credit: Winder Police Department)

One of the men allegedly drove the getaway car and his face was not captured by surveillance footage.

Cooper said police believe the men are “avoiding arrest.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Schiltz at 678-425-6889 or by email at

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