Skip to Content

PHONE: 415-441-8669 | TOLL FREE: 888-50EVANS
Free Initial Consultation Available

Feb 25, 2021 by |

Orange County and California Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Megachurch Pastor Charged With Defrauding Elderly Church Members Sentenced To Six Years

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Elderly Churchgoers Swindled Out Of Millions

Older Church Members Encouraged To Cash Out Other Investments 

$3.5 Million Taken In Scheme

Financial elder abuse can come from different actors and from different directions.  Sometimes, the predator is an individual in whom the victims have a great amount of trust, like trustees, community leaders, and even pastors. The former pastor of a Houston megachurch who advised former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama was sentenced last week to six years in prison after pleading guilty to cheating elder investors in a multimillion-dollar scheme, according to prosecutors.  Whoever the financial predator is, the financial elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. can represent an injured senior here in Orange County or anywhere else in California and seek all remedies for the elderly victim, including getting their money back, undoing illegal contracts and getting awards of attorneys’ fees and expenses for the costs of bringing suit.  Our elder abuse litigators can be reach at (415)441-8669. 

Fraudulent Scheme Targeted Elderly Churchgoers

In the case[1] against the megachurch pastor and his stockbroker accomplice, prosecutors said that the scheme began in 2013, when the pastor and an investment adviser, started conspiring to use their influence and standing to persuade victims to invest with them.  Allegedly, the two approached acquaintances and older church members with what they described as an opportunity to invest in historical Chinese bonds.  According to the complaint the pastor and advisor told potential clients that by investing money they would obtain partial ownership of the bonds and would quickly receive exponential returns on their investments.  None of that was true; in fact the bonds, which had been issued before Mao Tse Tung came to power in 1949, were worthless. But investors were not told of the true nature of the bonds, nor were they told that no previous investor had ever obtained the promised returns, prosecutors said.  Many of the clients were elderly and retired, and those who did not have money readily available were encouraged to cash out other investments so that they could participate in the scheme, prosecutors said.  Of the $3.5 million collected from these predominantly older investors, the pastor allegedly took $900,000 to pay down his personal debts, including his credit cards and personal loans. The pastor was indicted in 2018 and after pleading guilty last week was sentenced to six years in prison and ordered to pay about $3.5 million in restitution and a $125,000 fine.

Recourse Against Financial Elder Abuse and Fraud

The best protection against financial elder abuse and financial fraud is to always get a second opinion whenever you are approached with an investment opportunity.  Seek the advice of a professional with nothing to gain from what is being offered.  Also check the credentials of any advisor who approaches.  You can check the status of their registration and any complaints against them in two places:   BrokerCheck – Find a broker, investment or financial advisor (finra.org) and SEC.gov | SEC Action Lookup – Individuals.  If you have already been the victim of fraud or financial elder abuse, call counsel such as the Orange County financial elder abuse attorneys at Evan Law Firm right away.  Our attorneys know how to investigate these kind of cases, prepare a complaint for initiating a court case, and seeking all relief available against those responsible for your loss including the fees and costs incurred in bringing an action.

Contact Us

Ingrid M. Evans and the other financial elder abuse attorneys represent seniors in Orange County and throughout California who are victims of financial elder abuse or fraud.  Ingrid and our other elder abuse attorneys can be reached at (415) 441-8669, or by email at info@evanslaw.com. Ingrid and her team of financial elder abuse attorneys will pursue all remedies available to you or your injured senior loved one including getting stolen money back (restitution), undoing any trusts or contracts the abuser may have fraudulently created (rescissions), damages for pain and suffering, and an award of the attorneys’ fees and expenses you’ve incurred in bringing your case.

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.

Law Dragons 500 badge Million Dollar Advocates Forum SuperLawyers Badge Best Lawyers Badge Avvo Lawyer Badge

Our Passion For Justice

415-441-8669 888-50EVANS

Hear What Our Clients Have To Say

"I highly recommend Ingrid Evans! She is whip-smart and aggressive, but still client-centered and compassionate."
Posted By: Jackie Ravenscroft

Read More Reviews