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KICC: UK Megachurch Loses $4.8 Million in Ponzi Scheme

KICC Ponzi Scheme


A 12,000-member megachurch in Britain lost the equivalence of $4.8 million in charitable funds after trustees carelessly invested money in what later turned out to be a ponzi scheme headed by a former Premier League soccer player. The Scheme Promising 55 Percent Return in 1 Year

According to an inquiry report published last week by the Charity Commission for England and Wales, the Kent-based Kingsway International Christian Centre came away with a net loss of about $4.8 million (£3.9 million) after its trustees forked over a total of $6.1 million (£5 million) in four installments between June 2009 and June 2010 to a former trustee who guaranteed that the investments would earn a sizable return totaling about 55 percent in a year.

Although the commission's report does not name names, The Telegraph reports that the person who the church trustees handed the money to was Richard Rufus, a former defender for the Charlton Athletic Football Club who was also a former minister and trustee at the church.

Last year, a judge found that Rufus had conned about 100 investors out of a total of $10,731,159 (£8,682,343) in the £16-million investing scheme with Kingsway International Christian Centre being the single largest investor.

According to the commission's report, the church's trustees handed over an initial investment and entered into an agreement in which they were guaranteed that investment would earn a profit of about 5 percent per month, with the exception of August and December when they were guaranteed profits of about 2.5 percent.


"The inquiry established that in practice, however, the investments resulted in a net loss of £3.9 million to the charity," the report explains.

The report states that the church's trustees who handed over the funds were guilty of "mismanagement."
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