City officials on Thursday announced the arrest of a church pastor and another man in an alleged scheme to swindle $10,000 from a Germantown property owner on the pretext of licensing-and-zoning violations.
They said that Brian K. Davis, 33, of Philadelphia, posed as an inspector for the Department of Licenses and Inspections in collecting the money from the owner of a property in the 5300 block of Wayne Avenue.
Officials said the Rev. Richard Cobb, 57, of Brookhaven, a pastor at St. Mark's Baptist Church in South Philadelphia, directed the alleged scheme and shared in the take.
The alleged swindle came to light when the property owner complained to a real L&I inspector that he already had paid numerous fines.
Police arrested Cobb on April 8, according to a news release from the Office of Inspector General. It said he was charged with theft, criminal solicitation, and related offenses. Davis was arrested on April 27, the release said, and charged with theft, conspiracy, impersonating a public servant, and related offenses. Free on bail, both face a preliminary hearing June 8. - Tom Infield