A Personal Note from Cathy Lerman to the Victims of the Ephren Taylor/City Capital Ponzi Scheme

I know there are many of you out there that I have not spoken to yet. So I am writing a message to you in my Blog today in hopes it will reach you. First of all, I want to tell you that you are not alone. There are, at least, over 500 of you. Secondly, you do not need to feel ashamed to come forward. There is no shame in investing your money with someone because you thought you would better your life and the life of your family as well as benefit your church, your community and the less fortunate. It is because of your goodness and faith that you made the investment with Ephren and his companies. That is certainly nothing to be ashamed of. I have been writing a series of articles about religious affinity frauds. Many of them are Ponzi schemes just like occurred in the City Capital matter. We know Ephren used many, many companies to hide, transfer and divert investor funds. We know neither Ephren nor any of his employees or shell companies were licensed or registered to sell securities or "investments." We know many of the "investments" were fake, severely undervalued, or never actually made. We know Ephren Taylor had A LOT of help. Those persons and companies also will be held accountable.

We know that Ephren Taylor and his cohorts, as alleged in our Class Action complaint, targeted members of the Church of Christ as their victims. We believe Ephren targeted them because he was raised in the Church of Christ and his father, Ephren Taylor Senior, is a minister of a Church of Christ.

I want all of you to know that many, many people have reached out to me to help me help you. I have been provided valuable information to help our case, identify defendants and prove our allegations. I also have taken on the task of trying to turn a horrible crime into something good.

We are going to seek legislative changes to help curb some of the attractiveness of self-directed IRAs to Ponzi Schemers. We are going to educate church and religious leaders about religious affinity frauds so that this kind of crime does not happen again. There is an easy solution to this problem and we need to COMMUNICATE AND EDUCATE Christians, Jews and members of other religious sects about the characteristics of a religious affinity group fraud promoter.

We need to make everyone, regardless of their religious affiliation, aware of this type of crime so that they can be on guard. We need to provide religious leaders and organizations with the tools they need to detect a potential religious affinity group fraud promoter. We need the victims of religious affinity frauds to RAISE THEIR VOICE and be heard! It is much more difficult to perpetuate a crime when everyone is talking about it!

When I started this journey several months ago with a core group of Ephren Taylor/City Capital victims, I saw the devastation of some and the loss of faith in others resulting from this deplorable crime. But over time I also saw a group of people who did NOT let this situation define them, who overcame devastating losses and became stronger in their beliefs and as a person. At the end of this journey, I am certain that these victims will be victorious.

I will close with something I shared with some of the victims early on in the Ephren Taylor/City Capital litigation. As I wrote the complaint, I was at times overwhelmed by the magnitude of the loss, the insidious nature of the swindle, and the unadulterated attack on good, honest, hard-working believers. But Romans 12:21 kept going through my mind: "Do Not Be Overcome By Evil, But Overcome Evil With Good." I want all of you to know that you have my word that we are doing that.  May God bless you all! Cathy