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Satan in the pulpit: Pastor pleads guilty to $1M fraud scheme

Pastor Mark Stafford and wife (Photo Source: Facebook/ New Birth Powerplex Ministries)

Pastor Mark Stafford and wife (Photo Source: Facebook/ New Birth Powerplex Ministries)

It seems that the news of church pastors taking advantage of their congregation by pimping God is never going to end. The latest pastor to join the ranks is Rev. Mark Q. Stafford of New Birth Powerplex Ministries in O’Fallon, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis.

Stafford used his position to convince 31 people to invest money in his investment company, the Stafford Financial Company. According to court records, he would hold buffet dinners to win over his clients and steer them to invest with his company. He promised returns of at least 20 percent and would send fake reports and correspondence to the investors when he actually pocketed the money.

According to the US Attorney’s Office of Eastern Missouri: “Stafford, who was also a minister at New Birth Powerplex Ministries in North St. Louis, admitted in open court that he falsely represented to clients of the Stafford Financial Firm that their funds would be placed with Quest Financial Holdings or Gain Capital Group, which Stafford sometimes misspelled ‘Gain Capital Group.’ In truth and in fact, Stafford did not open any accounts at Quest Financial Holdings or Gain Capital Group in his clients’ names. Instead, Stafford in some cases did not deposit the clients’ funds with either Quest Financial Holdings or Gain Capital Group, and in others, he deposited their funds into his own accounts at Gain Capital Group, where he then used those funds for his own personal benefit. Stafford obtained approximately $1.26M in proceeds from approximately 31 victims, and caused an actual loss to those victims in the approximate amount of $1.08M.”

Stafford admitted in court that he did, in fact, defraud investors in a massive Ponzi scheme and pleaded guilty to mail fraud and failure to file a tax return, both federal charges. He was also ordered to repay the people that he defrauded and could be sentenced to more than four years in prison.

 



1 Comment

  1. nosey rosy on April 28, 2017 at 9:01 am

    this is something we have seen with even bigger televangelist we call them , there is only one way to heaven and that is your spiritual personal relationship iwth god , not man , man has found ways to get money from masses of people , these tv evangelist like creflo dollar are all showcase fraud kings , and hell door will be open to them all , you cant think you will decieve that many of gods people and go to some pearly land . i cant believe how religion in this world has been distorted in all cultural groups and races , we done the same , cause if you believe a budiest , or jehovah or penticostal, tiltle will put you in heaven doors your smoking crack . all these religions and all these people swearing their church is going to heaven and the rest of us are going to hell is just plum fantasy , money greed and desception it needs to stop , , if we dont all come together and stop the racism and division hell is gonna be an experience non of us thought about even . i pray to god that we get it .. i too have been guilty of believe just my church is going to heaven lies we tell our soul