Covid19 isn’t the only problem seniors face. Investment fraud targeting our aging population has become so common, that the Justice Department launched its largest elder fraud sweep campaign last year. Who was on the list of bad guys? A spiritual leader to Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

Dastardly Duo: A Pastor and a Financial Advisor

The Justice Department recently uncovered a $3.5 million investment scheme in Louisiana and Texas. Senior Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell of Houston’s Windsor Village United Methodist Church pled guilty last month to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. His partner in crime, Gregory Alan Smith, a financial planner from Shreveport, pled guilty in July 2019. “These defendants used their positions as religious leaders and investment advisors to defraud Louisiana residents—many of whom are elderly and retired,” stated U.S. Attorney Joseph. DOJ Press Release for Caldwell. Caldwell and Smith are just two more examples of trusted members of the community stealing from innocent investors.

Chinese Bond Scheme

Smith and Caldwell were selling an investment in pre-1949 Chinese bonds they claimed were worth three to fifteen times the value of the investments. In fact, the current Chinese government doesn’t recognize the bonds, and therefore they are worthless.  Smith and Caldwell were able to pry $3.5 million from investors during 2013 and 2014 who wired funds into bank accounts under Caldwell’s control. DOJ Press Release for Smith

Financing a Lifestyle

If the investment was worthless, where did the millions go? Unfortunately, this story isn’t new. Both Smith and Caldwell used other peoples’ nest eggs to pay down loans and “support their lifestyle.” Smith even purchased two new luxury SUVs and put a down payment on a vacation property. DOJ Press Release for Caldwell

Before sending your hard-earned money to anyone, stop. Seek advice from an independent advisor, such as a commercial litigation attorney, or even an oil and gas fraud litigation lawyer. Smart, successful investors can easily make mistakes, and lawyers routinely review documents and relationships from both legitimate and illegitimate deals.

We hope all your investments are profitable. But if you find yourself searching for an experienced oil and gas fraud or commercial litigation lawyer, we are here to help.

Mark Alexander
5080 Spectrum, Suite 850E
Addison, Texas 75001
Ph: 972.544.6968
Fax: 972.421.1500
E-Mail: mark@markalexanderlaw.com
www.commerciallitigationtexas.com
www.oilandgasfraudlawyer.com

Photo of Mark Alexander Mark Alexander

Mark Alexander is the principal of the Firm. In 1979, he earned his undergraduate degree at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and his law degree at Thomas M. Cooley, Lansing, Michigan, in 1985 (Academic Dean’s List).

Mr. Alexander is licensed…

Mark Alexander is the principal of the Firm. In 1979, he earned his undergraduate degree at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and his law degree at Thomas M. Cooley, Lansing, Michigan, in 1985 (Academic Dean’s List).

Mr. Alexander is licensed to practice law by the Supreme Courts of the States of Texas (1985) and Michigan (1988), and holds licenses before the following courts: Supreme Court of Texas; Supreme Court of Michigan; United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth and Sixth Circuits; United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, and Western Districts of Texas; and the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan. In addition he has been admitted in several other Federal and State Courts to represent Texas clients, who have been engaged in significant litigation in those jurisdictions.

Courts have appointed Mr. Alexander to serve as a receiver, and facilitator in complex litigation lawsuits. Additionally he has been a frequent lecturer for organizations on a variety of business law matters.  Mr. Alexander has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Business Law at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan. Significantly, Mr. Alexander is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating an attorney can receive.

Additionally, due to the complex nature of its practice, the Firm has an on-going relationship with a legal group that provides litigation support services. This group is comprised of a team of attorneys, whose combined capabilities allow the group to provide nearly 24-hour coverage at crucial times for any case. This arrangement is but one example of the innovative, cutting-edge approach that the Firm provides to its clients in order to improve representation at reduced legal fees.