On Mar. 30 SEC charged Texas pastor with defrauding of investors.
- Kirbyjon Caldwell, was senior pastor for one of the largest US Protestant churches.
- With Gregory Smith, as self-described financial planners targeted elderly investors.
- Defendants sold investors, interests in defunct, pre-Revolutionary Chinese bonds.
- Claimed bonds—memorabilia with no investment value- worth millions of dollars.
- Defendants raised $3.4mn from 29 investors, some of whom liquidated annuities.
- Caldwell and Smith took $1.8mn of investor funds, to pay for personal expenses,
including mortgage payments, while remaining funds went to offshore individuals.
- The SEC complaint sought civil penalties, disgorgement and other forms of relief.
- In a separate complaint, SEC charged attorney Shae Yatta Harper of New Jersey.
- Harper charged with aiding and abetting anti-fraud violations of Caldwell, Smith.
- Fined $60k penalty; attorney practice suspension reinstatement after five years.