Atlanta (WAOK/AJC) — The operator of what federal prosecutors call a “ponzi scheme” is undergoing a criminal investigation into accusations that he tricked church members across the nation into donating millions of dollars to him.

Ephren Taylor is accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of operating a Ponzi scheme that paid people who invested into the scheme high returns that were catalyzed by the investments of others. These ‘others’ were members of local churches, such as the controversial Bishop Eddie Long’s church, New Birth Missionary Baptist, as well as many congregations across the eastern United States.

According to civil complaints put forth by his alleged victims, Taylor told church members that their support through investment would numerous small businesses through out their communities, urging parishioners to invest into a ‘sweepstakes’ that promised high returns.

After looking over the case, An Atlanta, Georgia federal judge put forth judgment stating that Taylor is to repay former investors over $14.5 million, plus interest.

Written By Sherman H. Smith Jr (WAOK/Intern)


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