Transcript for Ephren Taylor Accused of Alleged Ponzi Scheme
Tonight -- Look out the preacher son and a man accused of using a -- -- of some of the country's biggest mega churches. To quote the Bible and take more than ten million dollars from churchgoers. Now the SEC says it was all up Ponzi scheme. Investors say they want their money back but they can't find him well we did. -- all those families who say that you cheated them. And can you guess which of these irresistible summer -- are less fattening than the others -- You know you want -- back into your basket so since you're gonna get any out. We brought along an expert who can tell you why not all junk food is created equal. Before -- you're fingers get better wash your hands. Because we've got germs that tiniest -- -- Into the backseat of the -- -- -- Killed by a team of super -- who will stop at nothing to find out where those microscopic freeloaders are hiding. Before you Spain and do whatever it takes to help you get more out of your money. Seems like everybody is trying to sell you something these days. Why tonight -- on the lookout for you. ABC's number of -- is about to get busy and now first up the preachers son. -- time one of the most. Powerful black preachers and her. -- life is about to change was five years ago he introduced -- mega church did this man. Your hands together and received my friend my brother the great. Lives Dick -- -- friend Taylor was a self proclaimed billionaire only in this morning's. -- son who spoke the language of detergent. He was a financial -- How to. Egypt's wealth and use it for the building of his kingdom. It was all part of what he called his -- tour disarm. It's about self improvement and financial picture us later and strive -- Security officials now say these families were victims of a Ponzi scheme that reached into churches across this country. Eddie long is -- Atlanta to -- -- season in Houston. Officials say he owes millions to investors in several states. He preached self improvement and shared stories of his success as a young black man on shows like Montel Williams someone on our school they're -- Mosaic Co. -- three quarters of million dollars. Here on ABC. So where you see yourself in ten years. Ten years from now. Probably minister somebody's car radiation and when he spoke to churchgoers his words resonating. He sounded like a godly person knew you he did it I mean he's he's quoted scripture is -- wells says she met privately with Taylor after hearing him speak at church that morning in Atlanta she says Taylor sold her on his socially conscious investment. That she'd be giving back to her community. And I was promised to get a -- -- return on my money. So in December of 2009. She gave Taylor a 122000. Dollars everything she happen. Out of her retirement account. She told us he gave her these papers he claimed they showed he invested her money in a real estate venture that turned around homes and inner cities. But then she says he disappeared. -- a hold anybody so then I started calling 800 numbers. I just can't yep this is your retirement yes and it's gone yes. -- -- -- -- Prosperous victorious. In Houston Texas at the mega church -- pastor -- -- the flock was introduced to Taylor but according to the church. He was invited to speak to a small classroom group about biblical financial principles. That's where the kiosk came at a Gary and -- needed -- -- were there and later invested one point three million dollars their life savings and her mother's retirement. The door Yost thought they were investing in an inner city laundromat a juice bar and a gas station. Were you spending money on things that existed or that were -- there some existed and some didn't. Attorney Kathy Lerman says hundreds of investors have told her the same story. I cannot tell you how many people have -- to me I thought I was the only one. In 2009 on this -- -- of her album Taylor credits himself as executive producer. And hot male model. -- -- to stick to his day job but we're not sure what that is. And there is again making a cameo. Altogether now. -- available on -- to. In August of 2011 we started looking for Taylor first at the headquarters he'd listed for -- businesses. The address led to a post office box inside this mail store decent thing. Lisa Conway worked for Taylor -- 2010. She sold yet another investment his company was pitching. I would see things that warrants. I had caught it then trying to manipulate paperwork it sounds like you don't believe any of this stuff existence. Because I know so much. We had folks I came. Soon she says panicked families were banging on the doors of this office where she and Taylor worked there's got to be fear on his part that this is all coming down. You can see him sweat and out. Back in Texas the door -- still hold onto their base -- they've left Lakewood church where they first met Taylor. The -- told us when he friend tried to promote his services as a financial advisor they stopped him and that they did a search before he -- and didn't find anything negative. Staff member did make the announcement went on endorsing this person went on -- to invest with him. Also to you would expect that anyone that comes to the church. They would have researched him and she says when she told the church what happened it was at first you know -- Anita how could -- light. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- She says that he. Even after asking the church for help she slept with. What's the first thing the bishops had to you all to. Well you gay men and me and said basically entertain got no money -- no longer attends bishop long's church. And she says she was forced to file for bankruptcy last September. When it was -- for Taylor posse guys aggressors we -- -- minister Eddie long claimed that he and his church did nothing wrong. -- 2011 long released this video pleading with Taylor to return the money please do what's right. The church told us they do continue to hold the responsible parties will restore the funds they took from congregants at new birth. And churches around the country. Even people who have known Taylor since these days back when he was just starting out say they don't know where he or most of the money has gone. We were young ambitious guys and I liked that about him. Christopher says he met Taylor and when they were both nineteen and they briefly sold vending machines together -- -- in corporate woods. Where I initially met. Ingraham he claims even invested 26000 dollars of his own money with -- But what bothers Christopher most is he convinced his own father. To give Taylor 75000. He says neither of them got more than a fraction back. -- -- Really is how many editorials told us there are also turning the other cheek. It's not the easiest thing to do we will know -- regards -- -- being beaten and we have come to a place where we've given. -- -- in May 2012. We heard from an attorney representing Taylor. Who said Taylor is not in hiding but has stayed out of the spotlight. Because of concerns for his safety. And he said Taylor unequivocally denies that he looted investor proceeds. To fund an extravagant lifestyle.
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