Edward Purvis, owner of Nakami Chi Group Ministries International — a Christian non-profit that lured investors with promises to fund religious work while delivering 24 percent annual returns — was awaiting trial on fraud charges last month when a judge took the unusual step of having him arrested.
The Aug. 6 arrest was triggered by a story in The Arizona Republic that documented a trip Purvis took in April to Las Vegas to promote a gold-mine project to potential investors. At the time, Purvis was on probation after spending about a year in prison on charges related to impeding the fraud inquiry.
But state prosecutors said that is just the beginning of their case against Purvis. At an Aug. 24 hearing, they argued that he needed to remain locked up not only because there is a risk he will flee prosecution but because of the risk he poses to people still willing to give him money.