SHREVEPORT, La. — A federal grand jury has charged a Louisiana financial planner and a Texas pastor with bilking investors out of more than $1 million.
U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook said in a news release Thursday that a 13-count indictment was handed up against 55-year-old Gregory Alan Smith of Shreveport and 64-year-old Kirbyjon Caldwell of Houston. They’re accused of wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy to commit those two offenses.
According to the indictment, Smith used his influence as operator and manager of Smith Financial Group LLC in Shreveport, and Caldwell used his influence as pastor of a prominent Houston church to lure investors to pay more than $1 million for Historical Chinese bonds that are not recognized by China’s current government and have no investment value.
It says Smith and Caldwell promised high rates of return and instead of investing the funds they used the money to pay personal loans, credit card balances, mortgages, vehicles and other expenses.