Erick Anders Ortenblad has been charged with swindling a Prinsburg couple out of $70,000. (Custody photo)

A New London man faces a felony charge of theft by swindle for allegedly bilking a Prinsburg couple out of $70,000 in the guise of a loan.

InForum reports that 34 year old Erick Anders Ortenblad made his initial appearance last week in Kandiyohi County District Court. He was released on his own recognizance on the condition he not leave Minnesota and have no contact with the alleged victims. He is due back in court November 13.

According to court records, the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office received a report early this year that a couple in Prinsburg had been swindled by Ortenblad.

The couple said the pastor of their church had introduced them to Ortenblad, who said he was a pastor of Experience Christ Church. They told authorities they felt they could trust him because other people in their community knew him. After praying with them over the course of several visits, Ortenblad asked the couple for a $70,000 loan to purchase a church property in Willmar. The couple loaned him the money in March 2017, but never received any repayments. The church property was never purchased, but a $55,000 bank transfer was made to Ortenblad’s father a day after the loan was deposited to repay a debt.

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