Toronto pastor, wife charged in alleged $8.6-million Ponzi scheme

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A Toronto pastor and his wife are facing 38 counts of fraud after Toronto police alleged they defrauded members of their congregation out of $8.6-million in a Ponzi scheme, leaving some victims devastated by their financial losses.


Marlon Gary Hibbert, 49, and Verna Hibbert, 48, are accused of running an investment fraud which required parishioners to invest a minimum of $10,000 on the promise Mr. Hibbert would earn them monthly returns of up to 8.5 per cent through foreign exchange trading.
 

Instead, police allege he made no money on the trading scheme, and instead used funds from later investors to pay investment “returns” to earlier investors.

Police allege “large portions” of victims’ money was shifted to an offshore account in Panama, saying $4-million has not been accounted for. Police allege some of the funds were also used by the Hibberts for personal purposes and some money was used to pay earlier investors. No money has been recovered for investors.

Toronto police Det. Gail Regan of the financial crimes unit said forensic audits show about 200 people were defrauded of a total of $8.6-million, but only 38 have so far come to police with losses of $2.1-million. Police are asking other victims to come forward.


continue to source article at theglobeandmail.com

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    • In reply to #1 by HolySchmidt:

      So, will they be spending their everlasting hereafters jousting one another with giant money bags as weapons in the 3rd circle of hell or what?

      Nah, they’ll just pray for forgiveness and the all-caring, all-loving, all forgiving invisible one will give them their tickets to heaven, where they won’t even need money.

  1. In totally unrelated news, a man has been charged with running a ponzi scheme that initially involved 12 unsuspecting victims.

    JJ, 33, of no fixed abode, whose real name has not yet been revealed by authorities, is charged with fraud after convincing twelve natives of Jerusalem to invest the rest of their lives, not just their savings, on the promise that they (and their progeny) will receive “eternal returns” on their investment in an “heavenly” exchange scheme.

    Investigators have discovered, however, that the supposed “heavenly” investment was in fact an “after-life” scheme which, as suggested by its title, was a fiction of JJ that not only required the investor’s earthly death before any dividends could be paid, but also promised “eternal returns” if, and only if, investors gave up their hard-earned cash and, more importantly, invested as an act of faith.

    Detective Justinian, Special Fraud Unit, Jerusalem Police Department, said that the 12 known “faith-based” investors not only lost unknown amounts of money in the scheme; they also gave up their lives, their bodies and their ability to think for themselves.

    JJ’s simple yet effective fraud, described by Detective Justinian as “not susceptible to the laws of physics, let alone the law of the land” has been called the greatest case of fraud that JPD has had to deal with.

    A call has been made by the JPD for anyone who thinks they may have been a victim of JJ, or who may know anyone associated with his scheme.

  2. If i was going to invest money somewhere, the person with the least knowledge of financial markets aka the local religious head, would probably be the person I go straight to with thousands of pounds.

    It just shows religion means nothing when money is involved. Blinded by their greed, none of these people queried why there local pastor was all of a sudden a currency trader. Ignorance runs strong it seems

  3. 8.6 million – gee they weren’t trying hard enough. There is a church in Singapore called ‘City Harvest’ and they ‘harvested’ 24 million out of their flock and the money was spent on trying to fulfil the pastor’s wife’s dream of becoming a pop singer (her career as a pop singer was a dismal failure like the church).

  4. Hmm. …and the Mormons allegedly have used tithes to build shopping complexes and other projects. Many ministers have lined their pockets with tithe money, plus plenty of other similar stories…

  5. Grr, No ability to edit… Here is the problem. The average person is not exposed to these issues on a wide enough scale. These stories are not making “front page” exposure. In order for change to occur, the majority of people need to know and care about these issues.

    • In reply to #9 by QuestioningKat:

      Grr, No ability to edit… Here is the problem. The average person is not exposed to these issues on a wide enough scale. These stories are not making “front page” exposure. In order for change to occur, the majority of people need to know and care about these issues.

      Excellent point. We just get our funny asides, but really, does this stuff not make it in the mainsteam news? That is a worry. It does need to be reported, highlighted, every time. I mean, we know preachers are all crooks. Near as dammit anyway. But the wider public isn’t aware that they’re a bunch of robbers?

      It does feature fairly often in mainstream media: I can think of at least two movies where the big time preacher / televangeiist was a full time criminal, and it seemed to be a fairly obvious character.

    • QuestioningKat,

      I think the editing button is to the right of your post under “more”. Just click and edit is one of two options that come up for me.

      Just checked the other option is delete, but remember there is a time limit on editing.

      Second edit – What an utter arse, the minister, not you Kat!

      In reply to #9 by QuestioningKat:

      Grr, No ability to edit… Here is the problem. The average person is not exposed to these issues on a wide enough scale. These stories are not making “front page” exposure. In order for change to occur, the majority of people need to know and care about these issues.

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