Monday, 18 January 2021

Christian Credulity News - Megachurch Pastor Sentenced for Fraud

Megachurch Pastor Kirbyjon H. Caldwell, Windsor Village United Methodist Church, Houston, Texas. Sentenced to 6 years in prison for fraud.
Megachurch pastor sentenced for fraud

To a dishonest evangelical preacher there is little difference between the routine petty fraud of conning thousands of followers out of a tenth of their income on the promise that it'll earn them big rewards later (if they're faithful enough) and the fraud who cons thousands of people by selling them worthless bonds on the promise that their investment will earn them big rewards later.

Both appeal to the naked greed and avarice of the credulous fools they dupe, to whom the only hope for a better life is the expectation of undreamed of wealth for little effort.

According to this report, megachurch senior pastor, Kirbyjon Caldwell of the 14,000-member Windsor Village United Methodist Church, Houston, Texas, has been convicted and sentence in Shreveport, Louisiana to 6 years in prison plus a $125,000 fine and ordered to repay $3,588,500 in restitution to the people to whom he sold worthless Chinese bonds, having pleaded guilty to committing wire fraud last March. He had been trading on the trust his victims believed they could place in a 'Man of God'.

Windsor Village United Methodist Church, Houston, Texas.
Kirbyjon Caldwell had been a spiritual advisor to both Presidents Clinton and Obama. Prosecutors said Caldwell had persuaded victims to invest about $3.5 million in historical Chinese bonds with no investment value. He used the money to pay off debts, including personal loans, mortgages and credit cards and maintain his lifestyle.

According to this report, Caldwell, a graduate of Wharton School of Business and a former business advisor, through co-defendant Gregory Alan Smith, an financial advisor of Shreveport, Louisiana, approached Smith's clients and acquaintances in the spring of 2013 about an investment in historical Chinese bonds. The bonds were issued by the former Chinese government before the 1949 Communist takeover and were worthless, not being recognised by the present Chinese government.

Pastor Kirbyjon H. Caldwell and his attorney spoke to the congregation during a service last Easter.
Clients had been promised exponential returns on their investment and were given assurances that, if bond sales failed to occur within a certain number of days, those funds invested would be returned.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission considers these Chinese bonds to be collectibles with no value other than on the memorabilia market.

Victims were told to wire funds to bank accounts held by Caldwell. In 2013 and 2014 about $3.5 million was invested and the proceeds of the scam were shared out between Caldwell, Smith and others. Caldwell received about $900,000. Instead of the promised returns on their investments, their victims were sent texts and emails offering excuses and defending the legitimacy of the deals.

Conviction Christian, Kirbyjon Caldwell, preaching to a packed church.
This case highlights how there is little difference in the morality of those who fleece the faithful on false promises of future returns on their investments in megachurches preaching the 'prosperity gospel' to their members and those who cheat mostly poor and elderly pensioners looking to supplement their income by investing savings, as in this scam. Both rely on the trust their credulous dupes have in the honesty and integrity of supposedly devout, morally irreproachable individuals, posing as devout Christians, specially chosen by God.

It also highlights how these churches are nothing more than organised, and legitimised tax-exempt scams, set up to provide the frauds who preach in them with a luxury life-style of which their victims can only dream.

The credulity needed to believe the mythology taught as fact and the preaching of Christian pastors who pretend to be in direct communication with God, makes Christians easy targets for the unscrupulous frauds who prey on them. There is little difference between a clever con-artist who knows his marks and a charismatic evangelical Christian preacher. Christianity, Inc., has become a tax-exempt, multi-billion dollar industry in the USA where very many of its victims are from the poorest and least educated strata of society.








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