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March 30, 2018

Posted  June 1, 2018

The SEC charged Kirbyjon Caldwell the pastor of one of the largest Protestant churches in the country and Gregory Alan Smith, a self-described financial planner in a scheme to defraud elderly investors by selling them interests in defunct, pre-Revolutionary Chinese bonds. The SEC’s complaint alleges that, in 2013 and 2014, Caldwell, Senior Pastor at Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston, and Smith, who the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has barred from the broker-dealer business since 2010, targeted vulnerable and elderly investors with false assurances that the bonds—collectible memorabilia with no meaningful investment value—were worth millions of dollars.  Caldwell and Smith raised at least $3.4 million from 29 mostly elderly investors, some of whom liquidated their annuities to invest in this scheme. Caldwell and Smith are alleged to have taken approximately $1.8 million of investor funds to pay for personal expenses, including mortgage payments in the case of Caldwell and luxury automobiles in the case of Smith. Offshore individuals received most of the remaining funds. SEC

Tagged in: Misrepresentations, Securities Fraud,