Bishop Eddie Long accused of leading church members into ponzi scheme

    Bishop Eddie Long

    Photo courtesy New Birth Missionary Baptist Church

    There’s a new set of accusations against Bishop Eddie Long as former members of his church claim he swindled them.

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that 12 people who once attended New Birth Missionary Baptist are accusing Eddie of knowingly leading them into a ponzi scheme.

    A civil lawsuit filed in Dekalb County last month claims that Eddie “coerced” them to invest with a man named Ephren W. Taylor, who labels himself a “social capitalist.” More recently it’s been revealed that Eddie may have known the financial Ephren’s company was not legit and endorsed the investment plan anyway.

    As a result the plaintiffs lost more than $1 million in the supposed ponzi scheme. “If Bishop Eddie Long hadn’t endorsed this they wouldn’t have invested,” said the group’s attorney Jason Doss.

    Supposedly, Eddie’s assistant got a call warning the bishop and his office not to trust Ephren. However, the bishop endorsed Ephren, introducing him to the congregation as a close friend and “brother.”  The outsider then led a series of financial seminars at New Birth back in October of 2009.

    An internal memo about the warning against Ephren was handed over in the case’s discovery process. Specificially, the tipster informed Eddie’s team that Ephren would distribute promissory notes to church members, giving him the legal power to do as he pleases with their money in order to get them more money. The memo explicitly states, however, “There will be no return on investment.”

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