Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Preacher Found Guilty of Defrauding Churches

A federal district court jury in Rome, Ga., found former preacher Abraham Kennard guilty of 122 counts of mail fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion for running a ponzi scheme that defrauded primarily poor churches with largely African-American congregations in 41 states.  Kennard charged the churches a $3,000 fee to join his company, promising forgivable loans or grants up to $500,000, but much of the money was used to finance Kennard's personal spending and little ever made its way back to the churches. Shortly after his indictment in January 2004, Kennard fled and was arrested approximately six weeks later in Tupelo, Miss.  At trial, he defended himself, asserting that "[t]hey've mistaken a dream for a scheme."  See post on ReligionNewsBlog. A co-defendant, Scott Cunningham, who is an attorney in Dalton, Ga., is scheduled for trial later this year. A story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution also discusses the case. (ph)


Fraud, Prosecutions | Permalink

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