Congregation gets some resolution to Ponzi scheme fraud

In an update to this story, Bible marketing: Ponzi scheme took many investors, some members of the church have settled their suit.

I-TEAM: Settlements for some in Bishop Eddie Long’s congregation.

He came into church with promises of riches for Bishop Eddie Long’s congregation.

Ephren Taylor, a self-described financial guru, left with nearly a million dollars in investments.

But, according to a lawsuit, it was nothing more than a Ponzi scheme and nearly all of it was lost.

Now, 13 members of Bishop Long’s church have settled their lawsuit with Bishop Long and Ephren Taylor.

Taylor used the trusted reputation of the church to convince investors this was a good deal.

News report from FOX5, Atlanta.

  2 comments for “Congregation gets some resolution to Ponzi scheme fraud

  1. Bones
    February 9, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    FWIW: I’m not a really knowledgeable person about financial investing, but I know two things by experience:
    1. When someone is relying primarily on your trust and good will to get your money, that is a warning side for fraud and abuse. Multilevel marketing schemes are among the worst offenders of this sort that most of us encounter, but somebody is always out there trying to devise new schemes for how to do this, to get to people to credulously hand over their money.
    2. When you start to see people running to throw piles of money at an investment vehicle of any kind, that is a bubble – and an opportunity ripe for fraud, deception, and value collapse. We’ve seen this happen in the 90’s dotcoms, the ’00’s housing market, and in fad collectibles like Beanie Babies. When you start seeing that, even amidst huge profit opportunities, beware because value collapse is imminent.

    This philosophy saved me from almost making a really, REALLY bad home purchase choice in 2006, and I decided to wait it out amongst the cries of a few of my friends – some of them quite smart people – that I was foolish to sit on my money in the 2006 housing market.

  2. Adam
    February 10, 2014 at 4:52 AM

    I expect churches are a rich source of marks for con men. Especially the evangelical kind where the congregation would be extremely trusting, deferential and receptive to authority figures making bold claims. It wouldn’t take much for someone to come in talking large promises of profits, peppering their speech with Jesus and miracles and they’d have them eating out of the psalms of their hands (pun intended). It’s happened so many times that you’d think that churches build up some natural defences to these scams but apparently not.

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