Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Scam and Religion: The Great Betrayal

A Different Church Building
A Church Building
(Photo credit: justshootingmemories)
I'd like to start with a quote.

With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil — that takes religion.  Steven Weinburg

People who scam often cloak themselves with religion, and some of the most despicable scammers are pastors thought to be "helping people", but in reality are scamming their parishioners out of money.

Here's one example... June 2012. A San Gabriel Korean pastor scammed what's believed to be well over one million dollars out of at least eight older Chinese-American and Korean-American ladies, through variety of tactics, such as fake business investment, Ponzi scheme, "loan to church", "lack of credit" and get the victim to buy the car (and I'll pay you back), identity theft, and more.

NOTE: The links are a little flaky, here's the Google Cache of that same page

In a more recent case, WTOL Channel 11 of Toledo Ohio highlighted a local church leader's role in promoting an international pyramid scheme to locals (and benefited in the process).  What's interesting is someone was still posting comments defending her on this blog, STILL claiming she's only "helping people". 

As this blog post was about to get posted, another item came across my view... ANOTHER set of church leaders scammed money from their parishioners, this time in Canada. This husband and wife team is believed to have soaked up 8.6 million, probably a lot more. Investigators so far only got 38 charges but they believe there are over 200 victims. 

Frankly, just because they belong to your church, and may even be a leader in your church, doesn't qualify them to give you advice on where your money should go. Church leaders can and do betray their parishioners for their personal gain. 

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