HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Federal prosecutors say Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell, 54, is currently being investigated. They say Caldwell lured in investors to historical Chinese bonds, but authorities say the bonds are not recognized by the Chinese government and have no value.
Sunday morning, the Houston-area pastor addressed his parishioners.
"We will address the elephant in the room shortly, but let me just say this, I am not guilty," says Pastor Caldwell.
Authorities say that Caldwell and his co-conspirator, Shreveport-area financial planner Gregory Allen Smith, promised high return rates at three to 15 times the value of each investment. They say the two allegedly used money to pay loans, credit card balances, mortgages, for vehicle purchases and for other personal expenses.
Pastor Caldwell’s attorney Dan Cogdell also addresses the crowd. He says, “every now and then you get the opportunity to do the right thing to the right man. Every now and then you have righteousness on your side. Every now and then the Lord truly works strange ways having me represent him. But I'm going to be there for him, you are going to be there for him."
If convicted, the two could face 20 years in prison for wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They could also face 10 years for money laundering and for trying to commit money laundering.