Posted on April 02 2018
The curious Case of:
KIRBYJON HINES CALDWELL
GREGORY ALAN SMITH
I should probably say this isn’t personal or an excoriation of potentials spiritual malfeasance. This is about people in power, who purport moral & spiritual authority over a large swath of the general public. If you are a member of a Church, you expect your “spiritual leader” to be above reproach. Pastor Caldwell is the pastor of Houston megachurch Windsor Village United Methodist.
Late last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a litigation notice against Pastors Caldwell and Smith. The 15 page SEC Complaint states:
- Defendants; Caldwell ("Caldwell") and Gregory Alan Smith ("Smith") enjoins...from further violations of the registration and antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws by offering and selling participation rights in certain historical Chinese bonds (the "bonds") to mostly vulnerable and elderly investors, some of whom liquidated their annuities to invest in this scheme.*
- April 2013 and August 2014, Defendants raised at least $3,488,500 through a scheme to defraud approximately 29 investors through the fraudulent offer and sale of the bonds.*
- “Defendants falsely represented to these investors that the bonds were safe, risk-free, worth tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars, and could be sold to third parties. In reality, the bonds were mere collectible memorabilia with no investment value.“*
- “Exerted control and influence over the scheme, and offered credibility to the investment by, respectively, being a well-known pastor and claiming to be an investment adviser.”* (*emphasis added)
A Federal Grand Jury, then handed down an indictment for; Gregory Alan Smith, 55, of Shreveport, La., and Kirbyjon H. Caldwell, 64, of Houston, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Louisiana
Smith and Caldwell are charged
- with six counts of wire fraud,
- four counts of money laundering
- and one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud
- and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
What I find interesting is this is a well known MEGA-Church and respected Pastor, with an extremely high profile. He has a decades long relationship with the Bush family.
Pastor Caldwell offered the benediction at both of President Bush's Inaugurations. After the 9/11 attacks Bush, once again tapped Pastor Caldwell for spiritual guidance. Inviting Pastor Caldwell to speak at the memorial service held at the National Cathedral and later traveled with President Bush to Ground Zero. In 2008 Pastor Caldwell officiated Jenna Bush’s wedding.
To be fair, Pastor Caldwell endorsed than Candidate Obama during the 2008 primaries. He spoke in support of Obama against baseless allegations the Obama was a Muslim. Citing numerous times that he has “known Obama for years as a Christian who prays daily”
Earlier this morning Pastor Caldwell turned himself in to authorities. During Easter Service Pastor Caldwell told his congregation: Caldwell spent a portion of his Easter Sunday sermon asserting his innocence. Telling his Church Members: "From my mouth to your ears, I am not guilty." He then requested the congregation to pray for he and his family.
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