Jeff Martin of the Associated Press is reporting that Ephren Taylor Jr., the North Carolina businessman at the center of a fraud probe involving New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Georgia, says that he's taking action to "make things right."
Former members of the church claim that they lost their retirement savings by participating in an investment program at the Atlanta-area mega-church. A group of church members is suing New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and its pastor, Bishop Eddie Long, saying that they conspired with Taylor to defraud the members through "wealth-building" seminars and sermons in 2009. Attorneys for the church members say in a DeKalb County lawsuit that Taylor urged them to liquidate their retirement accounts, and as a result some lost their life savings.
The U.S. Secret Service and the Internal Revenue Service are also investigating issues surrounding the seminars, which were hosted at the Lithonia-based church, which claims 25,000 members, federal officials said.
Jeff Martin reports, "Don't assume that I am just another greedy businessman," Taylor said in the statement. "I am taking action to make things right."
Taylor is also named as a defendant in a federal lawsuit filed this month in U.S. District Court in North Carolina. In that case, lawyers say Taylor made a series of investment presentations for the "Prosperity Fund" at churches in Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. The lawsuit says that Taylor, who spoke at the 2008 Democratic National Convention about socially conscious investing, was riding the wave of the popularity of successful young, black men created by then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Well, that wave is crashing, because some folks at New Birth have had enough of the scandals involving the church, its leadership and associates like Taylor. The article failed to mention just how Taylor proposes to right the wrong done to the members who lost their retirement fudns by investing in his program. Is he going to repay their money?
Taylor maintains that he had good intentions with the plan. We suspect that he must not have heard the saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The only thing sadder than this "statement" is the fact that impressionable folks continue to believe in people who claim to represent and worship an almighty God, when in fact they represent and worship the almighty dollar.
Read more at Yahoo News.
In other news: Pat Buchanan Offers Solution to Black Unemployment.