SEC Targets Fraud Against Churches

From Reuters

U.S. financial regulators moved to shut down an alleged financial fraud that may have bilked $3 million from more than 1,000 mostly African American churches.

The Securities and Exchange Commission won a temporary restraining order and asset freeze in federal court in Philadelphia, where at least 38 of the churches involved in the alleged scheme are located, against Georgia resident Abraham Kennard and two of his companies, Network International Investment Corp. and Church Kingdom Investments Ltd.

From at least January 2001, Kennard organized and attended religious conferences, leading potential investors in prayer and worship, then following that with a sales pitch for “church funding projects,” the SEC said.

Kennard’s lawyer, Mark Anthony Scott, said he had not had an opportunity to review the court’s order and would not comment until he had done so.