VALLEJO, Calif. — A California pastor and a Christian politician in Tennessee were each sentenced in September to more than 20 years in prison for running scams and defrauding their followers out of millions.
Luther Feltus-Curry, pastor of Revival Center Ministries in Vallejo, California, was convicted in February of 27 counts of felony theft and securities fraud. He and a co-conspirator, Alma Perez, created shell companies and promised their victims low risk and high returns, but they used the money — roughly $1 million — for personal expenses, the Associated Press reported.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra called the case “despicable” when announcing Feltus-Curry’s 24-year sentence.
In a separate scheme, former Tennessee lawmaker and Christian politician Larry Bates was sentenced to 21 years in
prison for running a multimillion-dollar Ponzi coin scheme.
He used his Christian broadcast programs to encourage listeners to buy silver and gold coins that would give them financial protection against a religious and economic collapse at the end of the world called “mystery Babylon.”
The victims included Colorado pastor Charles Grimsley, who claimed he and his wife sent Bates more than $200,000 of their retirement money and got little in return, according to The Christian Post. (TAB)