BULLETIN: 3 Church Officials, Including 2 Pastors, Arrested By Toronto Police In Alleged Fraud Scheme In Which Money Was Funneled To Panama

Source: Toronto Police Service.

Source: Toronto Police Service.

BULLETIN: Dozens of members of a church congregation were scammed by husband-and-wife pastors and a church administrator in a Forex fraud and “loan” scheme in which money was funneled to Panama, Toronto police say.

Arrested were Lorraine Bahlmann, 47, Verna Hibbert, 48, and Marlon Hibbert, 49. They’ve been charged with with 38 counts of fraud over $5,000 in the alleged scam, which reportedly gathered about $8.6 million.

Millions of dollars appear to be missing, police said.

“Each month, the accused would have statements, which he would send to the victims showing growth in their investment accounts when in fact the accused was losing money,” said Det. Gail Regan of the Service’s Financial Crimes Unit.

The Ontario Securities Commission was involved in the probe, police said.

“[L]arge portions of the victim’s money” are believed to have been transferred to Panama, Regan said.

“The victims are hurt and distraught,” she said. “They still can’t believe that someone like him has done this to them.”

Investigators have identified 38 victims, but Regan said there may be nearly 200. The phone number to contact police is 416-808-7238.

Some of the victims lost their homes and life savings, Regan said.

Between January 2005 and December 2010, “the accused convinced congregation members and their families and friends to invest money with the pastor in the form of loan agreements and investment contracts,” police said.

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7 Responses to “BULLETIN: 3 Church Officials, Including 2 Pastors, Arrested By Toronto Police In Alleged Fraud Scheme In Which Money Was Funneled To Panama”

  1. For a minute there I got all excited thinking they were going to be announcing it was Dr. Goddie Ude. Maybe next time. He’s another one they need to take down.

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  2. Oh, but it gets better. The wife sold off the house WHILE the hearing was going on, really pissing off the judge.

    http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/06/18/scam-artist-pastors-followers-get-minor-payback-after-being-bilked-of-more-than-8-2-million/

    Forensic audit says 8.6 million was lost, and 4 million are unaccounted for. So far, police can only identify 2.1 million in losses from the people who admit to being tricked. That means most of the victims have yet to come forward.

    And there was 11 million in fake “interest” gains. That’s 5% monthly and 8.5% if left in a whole year.

    http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2013/05/03/20791771.html

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  3. >>The defendant testified that he was simply a bad bookkeeper and businessman; that he had sloppy business and accounting practices; and that he was the victim of worldwide financial markets gone awry. I disagree,” wrote Judge Arrell<<

    So do I. In any case, he personally guaranteed the funds would be ok. Looks like he was nothing but a greedy thief in the end.

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  4. I’ll just throw a quote out there. :)

    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, Nobel Laureate, American Physicist

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  5. K. Chang:
    I’ll just throw a quote out there. :)

    –Steven Weinburg, Nobel Laureate, American Physicist

    Glad you did. Never a truer word was said. Affinity Fraud = Profitable Sunrise and many many more

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  6. One wonders how people such as this rationalize and justify their involvement in outright fraud with their daily religious public face.

    There must be some very, very strange versions of the Bible out there

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  7. Lynndel “Lynn” Edgington:
    For a minute there I got all excited thinkingthey were going to be announcing it was Dr. Goddie Ude. Maybe next time.He’s another one they need to take down.

    I’m hoping to see similar treatment for NJF and her F-U Ministry…!

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