The statement in the story that this was done particularly among the
Valley's Mormon community is distressing, but at least two of the five
seem likely to be Mormons themselves.
community perhaps is at risk when one or more members of the community
takes advantage of the good will afforded them by virtue of being members of the same faith community, but I think Mormonism may be especially susceptible to this because with no paid clergy people are given church assignments and those assignments add to their "status" and/or credibility with other members. This elevated status may actually increase the temptation to take advantage of others. The status given someone by the church suggests they are honest and trustworthy. I don't know if any of these individuals were bishops, stake presidents, etc., so this may or may not be a case of leaders taking advantage of the membership, but it does appear to at least be a case of some members taking advantage of others.
This is aside from the entire question of whether the brand of faith offered by Mormonism makes the members easier targets for con men generally, but I think it likely makes them easier targets for unsavory church leaders and members.
Below is the analysis I did to determine that at least two of the people are likely LDS.
One of the people indicted is Duane H. Slade whom the Arizona Republic reports as being from Texas. This stuff apparently happened in and around Mesa/Phoenix. The other four involved the paper says are from either Mesa or Scottsdale, AZ
There is a Duane H. Slade listed as an alumni of the Washington Seattle Mission. The entry on the website appears to be dated Sep 2000, and he claims to have been married for seven years, living in Mesa and working in the Young Mens. This seemingly puts the end of his mission back to about 1992 or 93, and if he was 21 then, now 17 years later he would be about 38. There is pretty good likelihood that this Duane H. Slade is the same one who was arrested in this matter, because the newspaper says the Duane H. Slade who was arrested was 38. He appears to be LDS (or possibly formerly LDS).
Another of the people involved is listed as Russell Laurence Sewell, age 43 of Mesa. There is a Russell L Sewell on Facebook who graduated from high school in 84, (presumably at about age 18 - which would make the Facebook Russell L Sewell about age 43). The Facebook Russell L. Sewell got both a BA and MBA from BYU, and his Facebook account subscribes to the LDS Park 7th/10th Ward Facebook Page. It seems likely that the Russell Laurence Sewell from the article is the Russell L Sewell from Facebook, and that he is LDS.
Two of these guys were in our ward. They moved from state to state and from ward to ward taking money from gullible mormons. It's sad that mormons trust people just because they are mormon. They took tens of millions of dollars from people in our ward. The head guy was a temple worker and went at least once a week. When he was first confronted with the law a few years ago, he got up in front of the ward and cried and told everyone that he was so sorry. They were just big crocodile tears because he continued to scam people out of their money and then moved out of state to keep the scam going. He's a Bernie Maddoff of Mormons.