Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum

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Financial advisor arrested for alleged frauds against churches

Facing a federal charge could mean enduring intensive investigation and negative impacts on the accused's personal and professional life. Even a relatively minor allegation could harm the career and livelihood of an individual, especially when they are accused of fraud in their line of work. Defendants in Georgia should ensure their rights are honored and protected in the situation. This can prevent and limit the hardships that the charges or accusations can have on them.

It was recently reported that the former financial advisor of several prominent evangelical congregations was arrested recently and faces federal fraud charges. According to the reports released by federal authorities, the man and his business partner were indicted and charged for allegedly defrauding investors from across the nation to the tune of $5 million. This affected some prominent mega-churches in Georgia and Texas, and the U.S. Department of Justice believes more than 80 people in Georgia lost more than $2 million due to this scheme.

The prosecutors alleged that the former chief executive officer of City Capital Corporation and the company's former chief operating officer worked together in a conspiracy to defraud hundreds of investors nationwide. These events allegedly took place between April 2009 and October 2010. The Department of Justice said that they pushed their churchgoers to invest in small businesses that were not actually profitable, but revenue numbers were made up to persuade people to invest.

A defendant facing serious federal fraud charges could face harsh penalties if they are convicted. In these matters, it is important that the defendant understands their defense options. Conducting further investigation could help the defendant uncover crucial evidence that could help counter evidence against them. Furthermore, a plea bargain could be made to reduce or drop some or all of the charges against the defendant.

Anyone facing a federal charge is entitled to a strong defense. Devising a defense strategy often requires being knowledgeable about the process. Seeking advice about their options could allow them to protect their interests and rights in this situation.

Source: ABC News, "Alleged Church Ponzi Schemer Arrested on Federal Fraud Charges," June 17, 2014

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Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum

Former Federal Prosecutors

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