Texas Megachurch Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell goes to jail


Caldwell, a former senior pastor of the Windsor Village United Methodist Church, was sentenced to six years in prison for conspiracy to wire fraud.

SHREVEPORT, La. – Longtime pastor in Houston Kirbyjon Caldwell jailed for his role in a scheme that has cost investors millions of dollars.

Caldwell pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy last March.

A judge in Shreveport, Louisiana on Wednesday sentenced him to six years in federal prison.

Editor’s Note: The attached video originally aired in March 2018.

Former head pastor Windsor Village United Methodist Church is accused of conspiring to convince several victims to invest nearly $3.5 million.

“The defendants in this case betrayed the trust placed in them by the victims,” ​​said acting US Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook. “This defendant used his status as pastor of a mega-church to convince the many victim investors that they were making a legitimate investment, but instead he took their hard-earned money and used it for his own personal gain.”

The investments were reportedly in historic Chinese bonds issued by the former Republic of China before it lost power to the communist government in 1949.

RELATED: Houston pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell pleads guilty to defrauding investors out of more than $3 million

The bonds are not recognized by China’s current government and therefore have no investment value.

Caldwell’s co-defendant, Shreveport’s investment adviser Gregory A. Smith, pleaded guilty to the same charges in 2019.

Investigators say Smith began approaching existing clients and acquaintances about an opportunity to invest in historic Chinese bonds in early 2013. They said Smith told investors that Caldwell owned or was in the process of acquiring the bonds and was negotiating a deal to sell the bonds.

According to officials, Smith promised potential investors that by investing money with him and Caldwell, they would receive fractional ownership of the bonds and receive quick returns. Officials said victims were encouraged to cash out any other investments they may have if they cannot afford to attend.

Smith allegedly asked the victims to transfer funds to various bank accounts under Caldwell’s control. The $3.5 million was reportedly split among Caldwell, Smith and others.

Caldwell reportedly used $900,000 of his share to pay off personal loans, mortgages and credit cards.

Smith reportedly used more than $1 million of the investors’ money to pay off loans, buy two luxury SUVs and pay a down payment on a vacation home.

Windsor Village said in a statement that Caldwell paid the victims full compensation.

He served as Windsor Village leader for 38 years and was a prominent community leader before his fall from grace began with his indictment in 2018.

Windsor Village is one of the largest Protestant churches in the country.


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