(NAN) Kingsway International Christian Centre, a 12,000-member megachurch in Britain headed by Nigeria’s Pastor Mathew Ashimolowo, lost $4.8 million to a Ponzi scheme after trustees carelessly invested money in it.
The scam was the brainchild of former Premier League soccer player, Richard Rufus, who used to be a defender for Charlton Athletic. He promised investors along with the church a return as high as 55 per cent.
The Christian Post reporting the findings of an inquiry published 14 December by the Charity Commission for England and Wales revealed that the Kent-based 12,000 members Christian Centre suffered a net loss of about $4.8 million (£3.9 million) after its trustees invested over $6.1 million (£5 million) in four instalments between June 2009 and June 2010 . Rufus was a member and former trustee of the church.
Rufus had guaranteed that the investments would earn a sizeable return totalling about 55 percent in a year.He was last year found guilty of defrauding about 100 investors out of a total of $10,731,159 (£8,682,343) in the £16-million investing scheme.
Kingsway International Christian Centre was the single largest investor in the scheme.
The Charity Commission said in the report, the church’s trustees handed over an initial investment and entered into an agreement in which they were guaranteed that investment would earn a profit of about 5 percent per month, with the exception of August and December when they were guaranteed profits of about 2.5 percent.