Wolf in sheep’s clothing defrauds church of $16 million
Ephren Taylor II and Wendy Connor, former officers at City Capital Corporation, have been sentenced for their involvement in a fraud scheme that targeted over 400 people and led to the loss of over $16 million.
Taylor, the CEO of City Capital Corporation, operated a nationwide Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors from April 2009 to October 2010, while Connor was part of the scheme from the time she joined City Capital.
The pair manipulated investors by touting false wealth management seminars to church congregations across the country, targeting African American and Christian communities. As part of the scheme, they convinced investors to purchase promissory notes to support small businesses, such as laundries, juice bars, and gas stations, but falsely represented revenues and returns, which they knew were not profitable.
Taylor and Connor also pushed an investment in sweepstakes machines, claiming that the machines would generate 300% returns, and that the investments were 100% risk-free. However, the investments were not profitable, and Taylor and Connor used investors’ funds to pay off their personal expenses and earlier investors.
Taylor received a 19-year, seven-month prison sentence and was ordered to pay $15,590,752.81 in restitution, while Connor received a five-year prison sentence and was ordered to pay $5,818,299.13 in restitution.
The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, with the assistance of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.