A federal prosecutor says a criminal investigation has been launched into claims a businessman swindled churchgoers in Georgia and North Carolina out of millions of dollars.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports First Assistant U.S. Attorney John A. Horn says prosecutors are “actively purssuing” an investigation of Ephren Taylor. He declined further comment.
The Securities and Exchange Commission last year accused Taylor of running a Ponzi scheme by luring worshippers at mostly black churches to invest with his company only to divert the money to fund a lavish lifestyle. He has also been sued by former investors in civil court.
The newspaper reports Taylor could not be reached for comment. In a statement last year, Taylor compared himself to other business leaders who were “crucified” during the economic downturn.