Man connected to church scams arrested

James Fletcher “Les” Spires

Lexington County investigators have arrested a man who was wanted on a family court bench warrant since 2013.

James Fletcher “Les” Spires was located and arrested in Camden with assistance from the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Department and Camden Police. Investigators say Spires used a network of people to help him evade law enforcement for more than 18 months.

“Spires was living in an office building in Camden and was using cash to stay off the grid,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said. “When he would call associates and family members, he’d use techniques to conceal his telephone number and location.”

According to Koon, Spires was involved in numerous church-related scams in which he’d raise funds for supposed ministry and missions activities. Spires was actively involved in a couple of Midlands churches, but has scammed congregations in Lexington, Richland and Kershaw counties, as well as the greater Atlanta area.

Spires has been sentenced to one year in jail and fined more than $27,000 in connection to unpaid child support payments.

Anyone with information on Spires’ efforts to scam churches on bogus ministry and missions projects should contact the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department at 803-785-8230. Anonymous tips can be submitted at

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