S. Fla Woman In F'closure Among 350+ Allegedly Screwed Over By Investment Peddler Who Used Faith To Target Churchgoers; SEC: Racket Was A Ponzi Scheme
In Broward County, Florida, WSVN-TV Channel 7 reports:
- A man who preached at South Florida churches is now accused of running a huge Ponzi scheme. And investigators say his victims were the church members who trusted him.
- Darrilyn Bryant-Hudson: "My house is in foreclosure. Devastating, devastating. I'm sorry." Darrilyn Bryant-Hudson says she lost her retirement savings of $250,000 after investing with [Ephren Taylor, Jr.]. He preached at her Pembroke Park church promising "biblically sound financial advice." "When you come to church, me especially, you are trustworthy. You don't expect anybody from the outside to come into the congregation to tell lies and to deceive you."
- And now the Securities and Exchange Commission says that's exactly what happened to Darrilyn and hundreds of others. Eric Bustillo, SEC: "This was nothing but a fraud from the beginning." In a scathing lawsuit the SEC charges Taylor "operated a Ponzi scheme to swindle over $11 million, primarily from African-American churchgoers."
- Calling himself a social capitalist, Taylor used faith to convince church members their money would be used to buy businesses in disadvantaged communities. Eric Bustillo, SEC: "These investors put their money in thinking that they were investing with somebody who truly wanted to do some good, who truly had a track history as he claimed he had and in reality it turned out to be it was all false." Officials say more than 350 investors were taken by Taylor.