WESTMINSTER, Calif. (AP) — A former Southern California pastor was sentenced Friday to 14 years in federal prison for masterminding a church-based investment scheme that bilked hundreds of victims of more than $33 million.
The former pastor of the Westminster-based Church for the Healthy Self, Kent R.E. Whitney, was ordered to pay more than $22 million in restitution. He pleaded guilty last year to mail fraud and filing a false federal income tax return.
The Securities and Exchange Commission says Whitney and his co-pastor allegedly targeted the Vietnamese community in a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme.
“Mr. Whitney, upon being notified of the investigation, immediately settled with the SEC, cooperated with the U.S. Attorney’s office, and accepted…