Skip to main content.
A non-profit service providing academics, religion professionals and other researchers with religion & cult news
ReligionNewsBlog

Religion news articles about religious cults, sects, world religions, and related issues

Home | About RNB Related: Cult FAQ | Cult Experts | Apologetics Index | Cult Information Search Engine
More articles about: IPIC International:

Orlando man, 4 others took money from church ministries, feds say

Associated Press, USA
Nov. 20, 2003
www.orlandosentinel.com

ReligionNewsBlog.com • Thursday November 20, 2003

The suspects ran what federal regulators have described as a $160 million Ponzi scheme.

WASHINGTON — A member of the board of an Orlando-based Christian ministry was one of five people arrested in an alleged Ponzi scheme to take at least $160 million from evangelical Christians, using money promised for ministries to buy homes, a yacht and a helicopter, federal regulators charged.

Torsten Thomas Henschke, 48, a minister and member of the board for Orlando-based Christ For All Nations, was arrested along with Gregory Earl Setser, 47, and three other associates of IPIC International Inc. and related companies, by agents from the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service.

Henschke was described as the international director of IPIC Atlantic. He was taken to the Seminole County Jail, where people arrested in Central Florida on federal charges are held.

In a federal criminal indictment unsealed Tuesday, the five were charged with one count each of securities fraud and two counts of money laundering.

Christ For All Nations, the ministry of televangelist Reinhard Bonnke, and other high-profile televangelists and Christian churches were among those thought to have invested in the scheme, according to a related civil complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Those ministries include Alex Clattenburg’s Orlando-based Church in The Son, and Benny Hinn Ministries of Irving, Texas. Hinn moved his ministry’s headquarters to Texas from Orlando in 1999.

Bonnke’s ministry is “assessing the situation,” but has no comment at this time, according to Peter Mariades, executive administrator for U.S. operations in Orlando.

IPIC, also known as International Product Investment Corp., is incorporated in Nevada and based in Ontario, Calif.

The SEC claimed IPIC and Setser promised investment returns of as much as 50 percent to benefit Christian ministries but actually ran a Ponzi scheme to support Setser’s extravagant lifestyle.

In all, the SEC estimates the group pulled in at least $160 million during the past three years.

In a Ponzi scheme, money from new investors is used to repay earlier investors.

Mark Pinsky and Amy Rippel of the Sentinel staff contributed to this report.

info Original content is © Copyright Religion News Blog. All rights reserved.
    Do not republish or repost. Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

share this article Share this article

tag Related Articles

arrow

Comment Comment

Join Religion News Blog at Google+ to comment, share, and follow.

RSS Feed Follow Us


 Follow

Religion News You May Like This As Well

Why are you not using Nozbe?

Don't you need to get things done?

Religion News Search Search Religion News Blog