The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged a former chief executive, as well as his firm and a former colleague, for running a Ponzi scheme in which the regulator says church congregations were targeted.
The SEC alleges that Ephren Taylor II misled investors over two investment programs being offered by City Capital Corporation, of which he was CEO. It is alleged he targeted “socially conscious” investors through church congregations.
According to the Commission’s complaint, around $11 million raised by Taylor and his firm between 2008 and 2010 was diverted to pay Taylor’s personal expenses, the firm’s costs, and fuel the Ponzi scheme.
“Instead of investor money going to charitable causes and economically disadvantaged businesses as promised, Taylor secretly diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars to publishing and promoting his books, hiring consultants to refine his public image, and funding his wife’s singing career,” the regulator said in a statement.