A former pastor and his associate have been sentenced for their role in a multi-year Ponzi scheme that defrauded more than 140 people from multiple states out of nearly $9.3 million. The US Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Michigan announced the sentencing of 64-year-old Larry Holley of Grand Blanc and 60-year-old Patricia Gray of Flint.
Holley was sentenced to 100 months in federal prison followed by a two-year term of supervised release. Gray was sentenced to 42 months in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release. A restitution hearing will be set to determine how much restitution each defendant will have to pay the victims.
Court records show Gray and Holley, who was a pastor at Abundant Life Ministries in Flint, operated Treasure Enterprise, LLC, which fraudulently offered financial planning and asset management services to investors, many of whom Holley and Gray solicited at financial seminars held at churches throughout Michigan and other states. Instead of investing the victims’ money, Holley and Gray used it for personal expenses, the church, or to pay interest and principal payments to earlier investors. Both Holley and Gray pleaded guilty to multiple charges related to the scheme.
“Holley and Gray deliberately misled investors to convince them to turn over their savings,” said Acting US Attorney Mohsin. “Investors should not be lulled into trusting an investment advisor just because they know them or because they are a member of an organization to which they belong.”
“Today’s sentencing is another reminder that when an investor promises not only extraordinarily high returns, but also guaranteed returns, it’s too good to be true,” said Brian Thomas, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Detroit Field Office. “IRS-CI is committed to investigating Ponzi schemes similar to that of Holley and Gray’s and will
aggressively act to protect American taxpayers’ hard-earned money.”