One Of Bush’s Spiritual Advisers Indicted For Fraud, Faces Decades In Prison
One of former President George W. Bush’s spiritual advisers was indicted for fraud and money laundering, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, 64, was accused of luring in vulnerable and elderly investors to buy over $1 million in Chinese bonds with zero value, promising the victims a large return, but instead Caldwell allegedly used the funds he received to pay off loans, credit cards, cars, and mortgages, instead of investing the money, as he promised, Fox News reported.
Also accused was Gregory Alan Smith, 55, a financial adviser from Texas who allegedly helped Caldwell sell the worthless bonds to people.
“Instead of investing the funds, the defendants used them to pay personal loans, credit card balances, mortgages, vehicle purchases and other personal expenses,” U.S. Attorney Alexander Van Hook said in a news release.
The Texas reverend served as a spiritual adviser to Bush for several years and was even asked by Bush to introduce him at the 2000 Republican Convention. The Texas reverend also offered the blessing at Bush’s 2001 inauguration and was the pastor at the 2008 wedding of the former president’s daughter, Jenna Bush.
“They are not recognized by China’s current government and have no investment value,” Van Hook said.
Caldwell’s attorney stated he was “wrongfully accused” and that the reverend will “be absolved.”
“Reverend KJC is not only a religious leader, he’s wrongfully accused,” the attorney said to Fox 26. “He trusts the legal process but most importantly his faith. He will be absolved. We look forward to trying this case in the court of law.”
Caldwell and Smith face 20 years in prison for wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud as well as another 10 years behind bars for money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
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