Mindy LeGrand, a.k.a begging nun "Sister Milindia," is being sought by investigators in a possibly criminal probe. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo subpoenaed the "nun," who was found begging for change in a fake habit, then returning to her Brooklyn home and taking off for Atlantic City.
LeGrand is a member of St. John's Pentecostal of Crown Heights, which has no official accreditation, and was founded by Devernon LeGrand, a convicted rapist and killer to whom Mindy LeGrand is related by marriage. "Church" officials admitted Mindy is not a nun, but one of many women who panhandle for the organization under that guise. Rev. Noconda LeGrand, also a convicted rapist, says the money is being used to pay the church's back taxes. But then he says the building isn't a church, just a family townhouse. In defense of Mindy, he says, "There are many people out there who wear different things for worship. Once they're done with this, they'll see we did nothing wrong."
Whether or not the outfit is found guilty in the eyes of the law, Mindy will have to find new begging grounds to continue the scam. Nick Mesce of Giovanna's Ristorante Italiono in Little Italy told 1010WINS, "She won't be welcome anymore. Now that we know the truth, we will ask her to leave if she does come down." She can also rule out Councilman Peter Vallone Jr.'s district. He said, "Scam artists like this hurt legitimate churches and charities, and police and prosecutors need a tool to combat it, which apparently they don't have."
Those close to Mindy have conflicting opinions about her nun-like behavior. Her daughter said, "When everything comes out, you'll know she did help a lot of people," but neighbors say she never helped anyone. One said, "If she couldn't find a place to park, she would go and block somebody's driveway."