June 8, 2005
Why we probably shouldn’t fear the Christian right:
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) - A man who swindled hundreds of Christians out of more than $26 million by promising a 4,000 percent return on their money was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison and ordered to repay his victims.
John C. Jeffers, 64, was sentenced Monday after victims told U.S. District Judge Robert Timlin they lost everything to Jeffers.
… In letters to investors, Jeffers used quotes from Scripture and said God had given him a plan “for financing the gospel in the end times,” according to court documents.
In 1994, two 19-year-old boys, Robert “Buddha” Gomez and James Nichols, unfolded a scheme to sell cars belonging to a nonexistent inheritance estate for the bargain price of $1,000 to $4,000 apiece. Nichols, as “executor,” employed his own mother, a devout Christian, who sold the phony “miracle cars” through her church. He then funneled the proceeds to Gomez, who was quickly becoming a notorious casino gambler. Before long, they had a network of saleswomen in churches from Los Angeles to New York and thousands of “investors” clamoring for the “blessings” that were to be delivered “any day now.” They continued the scam for seven years, eventually fleecing faithful believers of $21 million, in the largest case of automobile fraud ever.
Moral: if you believe you’ll be saved, you probably believe in free cash and cars too.
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