Tag: Ponzi Scheme

A Ponzi scheme is a particular type of pyramid scheme — an investment scam in which investors are paid from capital brought in by new investors, rather than from profits earned.

The fraudulent scheme is named after Charles Ponzi, who in 1920 applied the technique which was previously presented in works of fiction, such as Charles Dickens’ 1844 novel Martin Chuzzlewit .

Here is how a Ponzi scheme works:

And here’s an archive of news stories regarding Ponzi schemes with a religious angle:

Some withholding judgment on Oral Roberts University

Oral Roberts University captured attention for money woes and messages from God long before a lawsuit filed last week alleged illegal political involvement and misspending for the benefit of the university president’s family. But Tulsans said they are waiting for evidence to back up the recent accusations before guessing at the fate of the city’s charismatic Christian icon.

IPIC con case only gets weirder

A 50-year-old Canton man facing a life sentence after masterminding a multimillion-dollar Christian-based investment scam was apparently trying to arrange to have U.N.-backed armed commandos bust him out of the federal prison, according to court testimony Tuesday.

Religion-related fraud getting worse

(AP) – Randall W. Harding sang in the choir at Crossroads Christian Church in Corona, Calif., and donated part of his conspicuous wealth to its ministries. In his business dealings, he underscored his faith by naming his investment firm JTL, or “Just the Lord.” Pastors and churchgoers alike entrusted their money to him. By the time Harding was unmasked as a fraud, he and his partners had stolen more than $50 million from their clients, and Crossroads became yet another cautionary tale in what investigators say is a worsening problem plaguing the nation’s churches. Billions of dollars has been stolen

Baptist Group’s Leaders Convicted

Investors Lost $585 Million PHOENIX, July 24 — Two former executives of a failed Southern Baptist foundation were convicted here Monday in what prosecutors said was the nation’s largest fraud ever targeting members of a religious group. William Pierre Crotts, who was president of the Baptist Foundation of Arizona, and Thomas Dale Grabinski, the group’s former chief legal counsel, were each convicted of three counts of fraud and one count of conducting an illegal enterprise in a scheme that lasted decades and cheated 11,000 investors across the country of about $585 million. In a trial that lasted 10 months, prosecutors

SEC Halts $16M Scam Aimed at Elderly Jehovah’s Witnesses

The SEC has announced charges against a California-based corporation and its principals for a scam that defrauded the elderly. The Commission charges that Renaissance Asset Fund, Inc., Ronald J. Nadel, and Joseph M. Malone raised more than $16 million from more than 190 investors nationwide. In what the regulator called a classic Ponzi scheme, Nadel and Malone solicited aged investors through Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations and used the proceeds to fund their lavish lifestyles. The SEC’s complaint, filed in a California federal court, charges Renaissance, Nadel and Malone with violating federal securities laws, violating broker-dealer registration provisions and seeks disgorgement of