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Ex-Southern California pastor gets 14 years after $33M fraud scheme » Scammer News

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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.

Whitney founded the church and operated it out of an Orange County strip mall . The church did not appear to have a sanctuary, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“Mr. Whitney, upon being notified of the investigation, immediately settled with the SEC, cooperated with the U.S. Attorney’s office, and accepted…

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