In a Commodity Futures Trading Commission case, a judge has ordered former church Pastor Wesley Allen Brown, Edwards Rubin, and their Maverick International Inc. to pay approximately $8.6M combined in civil penalties and restitution. The defendants are accused of commodity pool fraud, commodity futures fraud, and federal commodity law violations.
A summary judgment order was also issued against Brown, who is serving time in prison for securities fraud and other offenses. Rubin is his brother-in-law and the president of Maverick.
According to the CFTC’s Complaint, issued in 2015, the defendants took part in a scam to solicit money for a supposed commodity pool trading futures contracts and precious metals. Brown is accused of abusing his position as pastor to influence church members to invest. Many of his targets were older investors/churchgoers. The regulator claims that the defendants misappropriated over $2M by soliciting the public for commodity futures contract trading.
It was just last year that Brown, who is from Florida and was Calvary Chapel Flagler’s volunteer pastor, was convicted of fraud that involved bilking a number of church members and friends of almost $400K. A jury found him guilty on 19 criminal charges, including those involving unregistered securities sales, securities sales by an unregistered dealer, theft, and securities fraud.
Prosecutors accused Brown of running a Ponzi scam that targeted US victims nationwide. He told victims that he would invest their funds in Maverick. However, rather than investing the money, he used investors’ funds to pay for his shopping, restaurant, and credit card bills.
In the CFTC’s case, the defendants have to pay more than $2.1M in restitution and a $6.4M penalty.
Another Paster is Accused of Investor Fraud
Recently, in another civil securities lawsuit, this one brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, that regulator filed fraud charges against another pastor, Kirbyjon Caldwell. He and Gregory Alan Smith are accused of bilking senior investors of over $1M by selling them worthless pre-revolutionary Chinese bonds that they claimed were worth billions of dollars. The SEC said that Caldwell’s position as a pastor made him seem trustworthy to targets. The two men also face criminal charges related to the alleged scam.
At Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD LLP, please contact our senior investor fraud lawyers today if you are an older investor that has been the victim of fraud. We also have affinity fraud attorneys who represent investors.
In an affinity scam, scammers target members of a specific and identifiable group, such as a religious community or a demographic with common and particular characteristics. The scammer might belong to the group as well, which can make prospective investors more likely to trust him/her.
Knowing that you were defrauded by a community member whom you trusted can magnify the severity of the devastation that comes with being bilked—not to mention having to deal with the resulting financial losses. To schedule your free case consultation, contact our investment fraud law firm today. We have helped thousands of investors in recouping their investments.
Federal Court Orders Former Church Pastor Wesley Allen Brown, Maverick International, Inc., and Edward Rubin to Pay More than $8.6 Million for Commodity Fraud Scheme that Preyed on Church Congregation, CFTC, March 20, 2018
More Blog Posts:
Barclays Settles DOJ’s Mortgage-Backed Securities Fraud Case for $2B, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, April 1, 2018
Texas Megachurch Pastor and Financial Planner Are Accused of Senior Investor Fraud, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, April 2, 2018
Massachusetts Regulator Accuses ARO Equity of $5.8M Ponzi Scam that Bilked Seniors, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, March 26, 2018