Terry Wayne Millender was once viewed as an upstanding member of the Alexandria, Virginia community. With 28 years of ministry, he was able to develop a large membership base at his Victorious Life Church.
However, Millender, and his wife Brenda Millender, are being accused of stealing from the people who they were suppose to give spiritual guidance. Instead of guidance, many of the member in the congregation only received debt.
According to , the Millender’s were also the owners of Micro-Enterprise Management Group. The organization was presented as a business that helped poor people in developing countries by providing small business loans. The funding for the company was mostly provided by church members.
But instead of investing in the business, the Millenders used the money to trade in foreign currency markets. They also used the money to purchase an elaborate $1.8 million home. But while the Millenders were living the good life, their church members were never given any returns on their investments. When members of the church questioned the couple, they blamed the financial crisis of 2008 for the delayed payments.
The Millenders serve as examples of how religion is often used to manipulate and control its members. There are numerous church leaders across the country who take money from their congregation and use the funds to support their own expensive lifestyle.
Ironically, the Millenders were arrested on a Sunday. They have been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering. If they are convicted, they can be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.