Authorities say Purvis and his partner, Gregg Wolfe, operated a Ponzi scheme through a non-profit called Nakami Chi Group Ministries International, which promised to fund Christian causes around the globe while repaying investors 24 percent annual returns.
Category: Nakami Chi Group Ministries International
But on Tuesday, Edward Purvis of Chandler pleaded guilty to orchestrating a Ponzi scheme that involved fake gold mines, phony businesses and a bogus promise to fund Christian causes with investor money.
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.
A month before he stands trial on fraud charges, Ed Purvis — the owner of a Christian non-profit accused of bilking millions out of churchgoers in Arizona and 12 other states — is now seeking an expert’s endorsement to promote a gold-mine project to investors.
He is scheduled to stand trial June 14 in Superior Court on 43 counts of criminal fraud and theft charges related to his non-profit company Nakami Chi Group Ministries International, which authorities describe as a Ponzi scheme.
Edward Purvis, the man who promised churchgoing investors in Arizona and 12 other states he could make them wealthy while funding Christian causes, was indicted Friday on 43 counts of fraud and theft.
Authorities accuse the 40-year-old Chandler man of operating a multimillion Ponzi-scheme through Nakami Chi Group Ministries International.
The Arizona Corporation Commission has voted to sanction a Chandler couple and another city resident for their alleged involvement in a bogus church-based scheme that cost investors millions of dollars.
Edward and Maureen Purvis, Gregg Wolfe and their Scottsdale-based company — Nakami Chi Group Ministries International — were ordered to pay $11 million in restitution Wednesday and an additional $250,000 in administrative penalties.
The ruling crowns a three-year investigation by the Corporation Commission into Valley-based Nakami, which investigators say targeted churchgoers as part of a Ponzi scheme, including at least one pastor, church elders and members of Chandler Christian Church and Vineyard Church in Avondale.
None of the principals could be reached for comment Friday. Purvis has denied any wrongdoing.
Wolfe last year agreed to turn state’s evidence and admitted to investigators that he and Purvis for years funneled millions of dollars in investors’ money into offshore accounts as part of the scheme.
One of the owners of a Christian non-profit company accused of defrauding churchgoers in Arizona and 12 other states has admitted funneling millions in investors’ money into offshore accounts as part of a pyramid scheme.
You won’t find these Arizona religious groups in any neighborhood directory of churches. They don’t have temples. They don’t hold services. Instead, state and federal authorities say they are individually owned corporations, called corporations sole, that were set up to dodge income taxes. Promoters of the schemes rake in large fees and, in one case, used them as part of a pyramid scheme, authorities say.
A former Chandler police officer accused of aiding suspects in a state fraud case has agreed to testify against them