BULLETIN: Former Pastor Sentenced To 54 Years In Indiana Ponzi And Affinity Fraud Scheme; Investors Believed They Were Funding Church-Building Projects

BULLETIN: Vaughn Reeves has been sentenced to 54 years in prison after bilking Christians in a $120 million Ponzi- and affinity-fraud scheme in Indiana.

Reeves, a former church pastor, is 66. He told investors in Alanar Inc. that it was their “Christian responsibility” to become pitchmen for his then-undiscovered bond scheme. Congregants believed they were helping raise money for church-building projects, but it was a scam that led to foreclosure proceedings against eight places of worship, prosecutors said.

The case was brought by the office of Sullivan County Prosecutor Bob Hunley, with assistance from the Indiana State Police and the office of Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita.

“Investors felt they were helping to build churches, not buy the Reeves expensive homes, fancy cars, airplanes and swimming pools,” Hunley said last year.

Three sons of Reeves — Chip, Chris and Josh — are scheduled to go on trial next year. Like their father, they were charged in June 2009.

“The Reeves allegedly targeted their victims through their faith, and then exploited their religious convictions in order to hide their elaborate Ponzi scheme from potential investors,” Rokita said last year.

Allegations in the cases are available here.

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