Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo’s church, Kingsway International Christian Center in London, lost $4.8m after the church trustees invested its funds in a Ponzi scheme.
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The Christian Post reports that former Premier League soccer player, Richard Rufus, a former defender for the Charlton Athletic Football Club, who was also a former minister and trustee at the church headed the Ponzi scheme.
The church handed the money to Rufus in four installments between June 2009 and June 2010 after he guaranteed that the investments would earn a sizable return totaling about 55 percent in a year.
The report said it later turned out that Rufus scammed the church as a judge found him guilty of conning about 100 investors out of a total of $10,731,159 (£8,682,343) in the £16-million investing scheme with Kingsway International Christian Centre being the single largest investor.
The judgement was handed down to him last year.
According to the report of commission of inquiry on the scam, quoted by The Christian Post, the church’s trustees were guilty of “mismanagement.”
The commission’s report says they did not “exercise sufficient care when making the decisions to invest the charity’s funds through the ex-trustee’s investment scheme.”