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Pastor Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges in Ponzi Scheme

Ponzi schemes can hurt investors, and perpetrators face serious charges
Ponzi schemes can hurt investors, and perpetrators face serious charges

Pastor Pleaded Guilty to Federal Charges Accusing Him of Scamming $2.5 Million

A former pastor from Conway, SC pleaded guilty on Wednesday, January 9th to federal charges that accused him of organizing a ponzi scheme, ultimately defrauding people of $2.5 million.

Archie Larue Evans, 42 years old, is the former pastor of the Tilly Swamp Baptist Church. His ponzi scheme bilked church members and others in the community of millions.

His guilty plea included federal charges of mail fraud, and one charge of structuring financial transactions to evade banks’ reporting requirements for deposits of $10,000.

The charges carry a combined maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and $500,000 in fines. However, the charges were not as extensive as they could have been. Evans’s guilty plea was part of an agreement with prosecutors to drop seven mail fraud charges, and five money laundering charges.

The judge in Evans’s case has deferred whether or not he will accept the terms of the plea agreement.

Evans was indicted in July 2012 on all of the charges, but he originally pled not guilty, and was freed on an $250,000 unsecured bond.

The Ponzi Scheme that Led to Federal Charges

According to the indictment, Evans’s scheme was to invest money for church members and others they recommended to him. He started a company in 2004 called Gold & Silver LLC, which promised investors that they would receive 10 to 12% return on their investments. Evans prepared false statements so that investors would believe they were earning that high rate of interest.

Evans then used the false statements to lure other investors to his scheme. However, he either spent or lost the money invested in his company. Much of the money went to his own personal expenses. He spent all the investment money by October 2011. Court documents showed that Evans had just $1,919.86 in his bank accounts, which was seized by federal investigators.

In August 2009, Evans’s scheme began to fail. He was brought to court initially because of a civil suit, in which Wilbur McLamb alleged that he made three loans – totaling $1.45 million – to Evans and his wife, as well as to Evans’s business, Gold & Silver LLC. Evans made interest payments on the loans until September 2011, when he defaulted. Including interest and attorneys’ fees, McLamb says Evans owes $1.7 million.

Evans’s primary public job was as pastor, but he also started two non-profits – Pale Productions and Pale Ministries. Evans used Pale Productions to publish his book “Nature’s Pairs,” a book that purports that nature is getting rid of homosexuality.

shutterstock_400825225The Strom Law Firm Can Help With Federal Charges, Including Indictments for Ponzi Schemes

The federal criminal defense attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC will fight to protect your rights and your personal and professional future.

Whether you are charged with:

  • a computer crime
  • mail fraud, wire fraud, or bank fraud,
  • a RICO violation
  • a drug crime,
  • tax fraud
  • making a false statement to a federal agent,

or any other Federal charge, you are likely facing a personal, family, social, business, and/or financial crisis unlike any you have ever faced before.

Understanding your situation is the starting point, and basis of, our approach to handling criminal cases.

Being arrested or investigated for a crime, including a ponzi scheme, can mean many things. What it does not mean is that you are guilty or that you have no rights. For experienced criminal defense attorneys who will fight for your rights and work to have your charges reduced or even dismissed, contact the federal charges attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, today. We offer a no cost, confidential consultation to discuss our experience and knowledge of the system can help you. 803.252.4800



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