SEC Charges Pastor with Fraud

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.

Alleged Violations

  • 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.