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Rancho Cucamonga man denied bail in $160 million church fraud case

Associated Press, USA
Dec. 6,2003 • Sunday December 7, 2003

A Rancho Cucamonga man accused of bilking Christian ministries out of $160 million was ordered sent to Texas to face charges of securities fraud and money laundering.

A federal judge denied bail Friday for Gregory Earl Setser and ordered the 47-year-old businessman sent to Texas to enter pleas to the charges.

Prosecutors argued that Setser had stashed hundreds of thousands of dollars in overseas bank accounts and could live comfortably for the rest of his life if he was granted bail and fled the country.

Prosecutors allege Setser used his connections to several high-profile Christian ministries to convince congregation members to invest in his Ontario-based business, IPIC International.

Investors thought they were buying goods that later would be resold to retailers at large profits, but Setser actually used the money to pay off previous investors and fund a lavish lifestyle, authorities allege.

A federal grand jury in Texas indicted Setser on Nov. 5 along with his wife, sister and daughter-in-law. They were arrested Nov. 18 and each faces up to 45 years in prison.

Setser’s wife, 47-year-old Cynthia Setser, remains in federal custody. Her detention hearing was scheduled for Monday.

Setser’s sister and daughter-in-law are free on bond.

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