Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell enters not guilty plea in fraud case

- A lot of times, your lawyer will tell you to keep your mouth shut while heading into court. If that's the case, Windsor Village United Methodist Church Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell stuck to the script. He just nodded to the cameras as he entered the federal courthouse in Shreveport, La.

Caldwell was arraigned and pled not guilty to charges that he and a Shreveport-based financial planner named Greg Smith defrauded almost thirty investors. According to the indictment, they sold $3.4 million of worthless bonds and spent much of the invested money on themselves. Prosecutors say they have 100,000 pages of evidence to support the indictment.

Caldwell, 64, and Gregory Alan Smith, 55, were each charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, six counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and three counts of money laundering on March 29. They are also charged in two separate counts of money laundering.

Smith also entered a not guilty plea in court on Thursday.

Caldwell was the former spiritual advisor to President George W Bush, holds an MBA from Wharton and worked as a bond trader before attending divinity school. He and Smith are each out on a $250,000 unsecured bond and cannot leave the U.S. His attorney Dan Cogdell said he and his client have no intention of running, They plan to stand and fight these charges.

"The grand jury didn't hear the evidence that the jury will hear," said Dan Cogdell. "Didn't hear from Kirbyjon Caldwell like the trial jury will hear. So we are looking forward to our day in court so we can actually go forward and present our defense."

The next court date for Caldwell is not yet scheduled.

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