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Home / US / Houston Megachurch Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell, accomplice offended investors of more than $ 1 million: Feds

Houston Megachurch Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell, accomplice offended investors of more than $ 1 million: Feds



SHREVEPORT, La. – A state grand jury has commissioned a Texas pastor and Louisiana financial planner to cheat investors of more than $ 1 million

U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook said in a press release on Thursday that charges have been brought against Houston's 64-year-old Kirbyjon Caldwell and 55-year-old Gregory Alan Smith of Shreveport. They are accused of wiretapping and money laundering to commit these two crimes.

According to the indictment, Caldwell used his influence as pastor of a well-known church in Houston, and Smith used his influence as operator and manager of Smith Financial Group LLC at Shreveport to tempt investors to spend more than $ 1

million on historic Chinese bonds pay that are not recognized by China's current government and have no investment value.

The bonds were issued by the former Republic of China before they lost power to the Communist government in 1949, reports CBS Houston affiliate KHOU-TV.

The indictment says Caldwell and Smith promised high returns and, instead of investing the funds, used the money for personal loans, credit card deposits, mortgages, vehicles and other expenses

The promised returns were as high as the 3 to 15 times the value of the investment, KHOU says and quotes the indictment.

Caldwell is the Pasto at the Windsor Village United Methodist Church, a 14,000-member mega church in Windsor Village, Houston.

Smith and Caldwell could face up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $ 1 million if convicted.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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