ATLANTA (AP/WAOK) – Federal authorities are accusing a businessman with running a Ponzi scheme that swindled worshippers in mostly black churches out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday charged Ephren Taylor with falsely luring investors to fund programs offered by City Capital Corporation, the company he ran. They say he secretly diverted the money to publish his books, hire consultants and finance his wife’s singing career.

Court documents filed in Atlanta also charged Wendy Connor, City Capital’s former chief operating officer, with profiting from the fraud.

The charges mirror two separate lawsuits filed last year in Georgia and North Carolina that accused Taylor of falsely luring churchgoers with promises of guaranteed returns.

Connor and Taylor couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.


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