Pastor Michael Wilkerson was arrested for allegedly bilking his modest church (and its members) out millions of dollars. Wilkerson kept a Escalade and a Lexus in the garage of his 1.7 million dollar home while his parishioners allegedly wrote checks to him as part of a get-rich-quick real estate investment scheme. Apparently Wilkerson mixed the prosperity gospel with calls for collective investment from the pulpit. The only people to make money were Wilkerson, his wife and two cronies.
God wants you to be rich. Just give me your money and I will return it to you 20 fold…. Are people idiots?
I learned a new term from this article: Affinity Fraud.
A 2006 study by the North American Securities Administrators Association estimated that losses from religion-based affinity fraud had reached $2 billion. Those rip-offs have only become more common since, said Ole Anthony, who helms the Dallas-based Trinity Foundation, a watchdog group that investigates the financial misdeeds of religious figures.