THE SEC HAS ANNOUNCED AN INVESTIGATION OF EQUITY TRUST COMPANY, A PURPORTED SELF-DIRECTED IRA CUSTODIAN. HERE IS A LINK TO THE ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE SEC: http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20150616/NEWS/150619845/u-s-securities-and-exchange-commission-pursues-charges-against The Lerman Law Firm is co-counsel in a class action suit involving hundreds of Equity Trust customers who were the victims of multi-million dollar Ponzi schemes, including that of now-convicted felon Ephren Taylor. The Lerman Law Firm applauds the SEC's actions and looks forward to the responsible persons within Equity Trust being brought to justice for aiding and abetting Ponzi schemes and fraudulent investment schemes. This is a great day for our victims.
For his hundreds of victims who lost their life savings, justice does not bring back the tens of millions of dollars that Ephren Taylor took from them in his prolific affinity fraud Ponzi scheme that targeted mainly African-American Christians. The son of a preacher utilized his religious upbringing and training to con hundreds of the faithful by using their own religion to swindle them. Since July of 2011, I have worked with hundreds of victims, law enforcement, the Secret Service, the FBI, the SEC, the Department of Justice, the IRS and state and local law enforcement to bring Taylor to justice. The fine men and women in these agencies deserve the deepest gratitude of Taylor's victims for their tireless efforts on behalf of his victims. It has been my privilege to be a part of this. It has also been a blessing to get to know and become close friends with many of his victims. These are wonderful Christian people whose lives were devastated by Taylor's evil deeds.
And now my dear friends, God has answered our prayers. This chapter of our lives closes but there is still much work to be done. There are thousands of Ephren Taylor wannabees all over the country who are bilking innocent victims right now.
But as we press on after those who facilitated Ephren's crimes, let us not forget our mantra:
"DO NOT BE OVERCOME BY EVIL, BUT OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD." ROMANS 12:21. AND THE PEOPLE SAID, "AMEN!"
God Bless You All! Cathy
United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates Northern District of Georgia
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2014
|CONTACT:||Bob Page, PAO
Ephren Taylor, II, Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Fraud
ATLANTA - Ephren Taylor, II, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud by defrauding hundreds of victims of their retirement savings.
“Taylor’s guilty plea brings a measure of justice for the hundreds of his victims, including those hard-working Georgians who lost their life savings to his criminal scheme,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.
“Mr. Taylor exploited numerous investors by perpetrating a scheme that was based entirely on lies,” stated Special Agent in Charge Veronica Hyman-Pillot, IRS Criminal Investigation. “Mr. Taylor’s guilty plea today is an opportunity for him to admit to the deception and face the consequences of his actions.”
“The United States Secret Service is aggressive in our investigative mission to arrest those who commit financial crimes. In this case, we were particularly resolved to bring to justice a criminal who chose to take advantage of unsuspecting members of the public in environments of reverence and trust,” said Reginald G. Moore, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Atlanta Field Office.
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: From at least April 2009 through October 2010, Ephren Taylor, II, then CEO of City Capital Corporation, and his co-defendant Wendy Connor, the former COO of City Capital Corporation, participated in a conspiracy to defraud investors. In pleading guilty, Taylor acknowledged that he defrauded hundreds of investors of more than $7 million nationwide. In a separate hearing, co-defendant Wendy Connor also pleaded guilty to interstate transportation of money taken by fraud.
As part of the scheme, Taylor traveled around the country on a “Building Wealth Tour,” where he gave wealth management seminars to church congregations. During this tour, Taylor claimed to be a socially conscious investor and falsely claimed that 20% of profits were donated to charity. One of the churches on the “Building Wealth Tour” was the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga. While there, Taylor and Connor met potential investors to discuss possible investments. Over 80 individuals from Georgia lost more than $2 million because of Taylor’s scheme.
The investments pushed by Taylor included investing in promissory notes, where the funds invested would be used to support small businesses, such as laundries, juice bars, and gas stations. Taylor falsely represented the revenues and returns for these businesses knowing that they were not profitable.
Taylor also pushed an investment in sweepstakes machines. Sweepstakes machines are computers loaded with various games that allow players to win cash prizes. Taylor published offering materials that falsely claimed the average sweepstakes machine would generate 300% investor returns. He also stated that the sweepstakes machine investments were 100% risk free.
Taylor knew that the investments he was touting were not profitable and that investors were not receiving actual returns from their investments.
The sentencing for Ephren Taylor, 32, of Overland Park, Kan., is scheduled for December 18, 2014, at 2:30 p.m. Wendy Connor, 45, of Raleigh, N.C., is scheduled to be sentenced on December 18, 2014, at 9:30 a.m.
This case is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and the United States Secret Service.
Assistant United States Attorney Christopher J. Huber is prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/.
VICE HAS DONE A GREAT JOB OF ANALYZING TAYLOR'S RELIGIOUS AFFINITY FRAUD. I HOPE CHURCH LEADERS WILL TAKE TO HEART THE LESSONS LEARNED FROM TAYLOR-DON'T EVER THINK THAT THE DEVIL IS ONLY OUTSIDE THE CHURCH. HE MAY BE STANDING IN THE PULPIT PREACHING A SERMON AND HIS NAME MAY BE EPHREN TAYLOR. HERE IS THE VICE ARTICLE:
Taylor Victims-Link below to excellent news story on Ephren and Meshelle Taylor. Thank you to Nightline Prime for reminding everyone of the victims these two left behind and for exposing their misdeeds. God bless you all! Regards, Cathy Here is link to Nightline Prime show:
A SPECIAL SHOUT OUT TO STEVE OSUNSAMI-
YOU ARE NOT ONLY FEARLESS-YOU ARE INTENSE-THANK YOU FOR EXPOSING EPHREN AND MESHELLE TAYLOR FOR WHAT THEY REALLY ARE! THE TAYLORS' VICTIMS ARE FOREVER GRATEFUL!