Scams and Rip-offs
Currently, Ephren Taylor, Jr., stands accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of a Ponzi Scheme that swindled more than $11 million, primarily from members of predominately Black churches, in at least 40 different states.
Rev. Wiley Jackson in Atlanta, GA was indicted on eight counts for selling investments to his own parishoners without a license. Charges were recently dropped after he repaid investors $90,000.
Beginning in 2001, Abraham Kennard targeted Black pastors, swindling nearly $9 million from 1,600 churches in 41 states — including Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Washington D.C. — in just over a year.
Willie Perkins and Michael Morris are currently serving time for creating a computer-kiosks scheme that tricked 200 African-American churches out of millions of dollars. The churches thought they were providing a free service to parishioners, but instead got stuck for thousands of dollars in lease fees.
Last year, Maryland pastor Robert J. Freeman was sentenced to 27 months in prison and was ordered to pay $630,000 in restitution. He was convicted of using church member funds to accumulate substantial assets, including 11 luxury cars and a $1.75 million residence.