A Houston megachurch pastor has plead guilty to several charges which involved defrauding the vulnerable and elderly out of their money.
On Wednesday (March 11), Pastor Kirbyjon H. Caldwell was federally indicted of wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy for selling over $1 million of phony Chinese bonds, according to EURweb.com.
A statement from the U.S. Attorney David Joseph said, “the defendants abused the trust and respect of their victims for the sole purpose of stealing their money. This type of deceit can be devastating for victims, especially when life savings are lost. My office will continue to vigorously prosecute those who use confidence schemes to prey upon the elderly and people of faith.”
Caldwell and financial planner Gregory Alan Smith, who was also indicted, convinced multiple people to invest into a $3.5 million scheme, said EURweb. Caldwell used about $900,000 to pay down personal loans, mortgages, and credit cards, and maintain his lifestyle KTBS said.
Caldwell, who is a pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston that has 16,000 members was also a spiritual adviser to President Barack Obama.
The pastor faces five to seven years in prison when sentenced, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release. Plus, he will pay over a million in restitution before sentencing.