Thursday, September 07, 2006

Manhattan Court Orders Resentence in Religious Investment Scam

Interesting story from Newsday yesterday. It reads in part:
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan upheld the convictions of Roberta Dupre, 62, and her accomplice, Beverly Stambaugh, 56, but ordered them resentenced.

Dupre last year was given 14 years in prison and Stambaugh nine years. Judge Denise L. Cote in Manhattan imposed the harsh sentences after concluding they manipulated people who had strong religious beliefs but little money.

A jury took less than three hours in October 2004 to convict Dupre and Stambaugh of cheating 1,000 investors by promising them a cut of the late Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos' fortune, a gain of $500 for every dollar invested.

When investors raised doubts, they were directed to Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding."

...The jury rejected Dupre's claim that the Lord had spoken to her and encouraged her to recruit investors.

Dupre, of Manhattan, and Stambaugh, of Montrose, Colo., quoted from scripture and urged investors in e-mail messages to pray for the funds to be released.
(Manhattan court orders resentence in religious investment scam -
Terrific idea convicting them of fraud. But wait! Why stop there? Why isn't Paula White of Church Without Walls being charged with fraud when she promises that if you give $818 to a telethon, according to Deuteronomy 8:18 God will give you power to get wealth? (Trinity Broadcasting Network, 11/3/2003). Why isn't self-proclaimed "prophetess" Juanita Bynum being charged with fraud when she challenges viewers to empty their bank account because God will multiply what you give Him? (TBN, 11/7/2003) Why isn't Jesse Duplantis being charged with fraud when he promises $10,000 out of a $100 donation? (TBN, 4/24/2004) The courts could have a field day should they so choose, couldn't they?


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