Appeals court upholds convictions of Baptist Foundation of Arizona officials

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by gb93433, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433
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    PHOENIX (ABP) -- The Arizona Court of Appeals has upheld convictions of two former Baptist Foundation of Arizona officials sentenced to prison in 2006 for defrauding more than 11,000 investors in a Ponzi scheme.

    William Pierre Crotts, 64, the foundation's former president, and Thomas Grabinski, 49, the foundation's former legal counsel, were convicted by a jury in August 2006 of fraud and illegally conducting an enterprise. Crotts was sentenced to eight years in prison and Grabinski to six. Both were ordered to pay $159 million in restitution.

    The 10-month trial, the longest in state history, involved one of the largest cases in American history of affinity fraud, a crime that targets victims because they are part of a group, such as a race or religion.

    Formed in 1948 to manage investment funds for Southern Baptist ministries in the state, the Arizona Baptist Foundation began offering individual investments after Crotts took over as president in 1982. Believing they were helping to do the Lord's work and promised high returns, some devout investors, many of them elderly, moved their life savings into the Foundation's care.

    Foundation managers invested heavily in Arizona's then-booming real-estate market, which cooled in the 1990s. Rather than reporting losses, the jury found, BFA officials hid them in a web of subsidiaries and bad-bank loans, all the while soliciting new investors.

    The rest of the story is at http://www.abpnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4145&Itemid=53
     
  2. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    They got what they deserve. There should be a special place for people, Christian or non-Christian, who defraud honest, hardworking people out of their livelihood.
     
  3. gb93433

    gb93433
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    I have never felt that the receipts from a church should be used to make more money but rather are given for ministry. Imagine if every church member about one year ago decided rather than giving any money to their local church that years decided to put it in the stock market in an effort to make more money and then give that money to the church. That is what basically happened at the BFA.

    Many churches and people had their money in the BFA. Not only was the BFA scandal a ponzi scheme but the BFA was also supported and encouraged by the SBC. Any church which borrowed money from the BFA was charged interest. Interest was paid out to its investors. When the market in AZ went down so did the BFA later.

    Many years earlier the SBC started another similar venture in another state and it had problems too. Is the SBC about making money by charging interst or doing ministry?

    I believe those men tried to disguise a bad situation to lok good and keep people from knowing the truth and it went sour. Some of those men profited nothing financially. I believe they were deceived by the leaders in the SBC as well as anyone else who put their money into that investment venture.

    The SBC needs to stay out of the money making schemes and get down to the business of doing ministry for which the money was given. I also believe that every time they engage in practices that are uinbiblical they will get the same results.
     
  4. sag38

    sag38
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    Thank you for your opinion.
     

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