Fri, Dec 22 12:32 PM |Entertainment

Report: Pastor And First Lady Found Guilty Of Scamming Millions From Friends & Members Of Congregation

A Virginia pastor and his wife were recently found guilty by a federal court jury of defrauding friends and members of their church out of millions of dollars, under the false pretense that they were investing in entrepreneurs in developing countries.

Terry Millender and Brenda Millender (who both ran Victorious Life Church in Alexandria) told parishioners that those who invested would make their money back with profit. Nope. None of them ever saw a damn penny.

Instead, the funds were used to hook MORE investors. And it was ultimately funneled into a payment on a $1.75 million home in Springfield, Virginia, the Washington Post reports.

Terry tried to argue that he was guilty only of financial mismanagement, not fraud, during the trial.

He claimed he acted “stupidly, not criminally — not from my heart.” Terry also blamed the failure of his companies on the 2008 financial collapse and a banking crisis in Ukraine, among other events he said were “unforeseeable”.

Uh. Sir?

Prosecutors says that the Millenders were involved in micro-lending, although they had no experience. They did not inform their investors they planned to generate profit though risky currency trading!

At first, the couple’s company, Micro-Enterprise Management Group, lost $1.4 million in microlending money. The couple then started another firm focused on the Nigerian oil industry. 

This company collapsed too though, resulting in a loss of over $600,000 in investor’s money. Prosecutors said this money went to pay the couple’s personal expenses (including golf games and rent).

Grenetta Wells, who was chief operating officer of the microlending company, pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy and actually testified against the Millenders.

Terry Millender was found guilty for all 31 counts of wire fraud, money laundering, false-tax-return filing and obstruction. His wife was only found guilty for seven.

“I’m pleased that the jury’s verdict at least acknowledges a vast difference between Mr. and Mrs. Millender’s respective involvement,” Brenda Millender’s lawyer, Lana Manitta, told The Washington Post. “However, our position is and will remain that Brenda Millender wasn’t involved at any level that triggers criminal culpability.”

If only someone could find a way to throw the book at Joel Osteen

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