Obama’s spiritual advisor was finally caught by justice…he has a lot of confessions to make in case he wants to enter heaven. In the meantime, he’s going to prison for sure…

Prominent Houston Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell, who served as a spiritual adviser to former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, was sentenced to six years in prison, just under a year after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in a multimillion-dollar investment scheme.

The U.S. Department of Justice said in a release that in addition to serving six years in prison, Caldwell will also serve one additional year of supervised release.

He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $3,588,500, as well as a fine of $125,000.

Caldwell is the former senior pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church, a mega-church in his native Houston. The church has around 14,000 members, the Associated Press reported.

Besides being a pastor, Caldwell, who holds a master’s degree from the Wharton business school at the University of Pennsylvania, worked in the financial industry.

According to authorities, Caldwell used his influence to convince people to invest in historical Chinese bonds in early 2013, the Associated Press reported.

Caldwell told buyers they would gain partial bond ownership and would receive large investment returns, Insider reported. Buyers were also given “participation agreements” which stated that if the sale failed, their funds would be returned.

Many of the victims were elderly and retired, The New York Times reported. Those who did not have money readily available were encouraged to cash out other investments so that they could participate in the scheme, prosecutors said.

The problem is, being historical Chinese bonds, they had been issued by the former Republic of China and aren’t recognized by China’s current government. Thus, the bonds had no investment value at all. They are actually considered to be collectibles by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Still, the scheme worked and Smith and Caldwell raked in “investments” worth $3.5 million between 2013 and 2014. Caldwell received $900,000, which he used to maintain his lifestyle and pay down credit-card debt and mortgages.

Acting United States Attorney Van Hook said in a statement:

“The defendants in this case abused the trust that the victims had placed in them. This defendant used his status as the pastor of a megachurch to help convince the many victim investors that they were making a legitimate investment but instead he took their hard-earned money from them and used it for his own personal gain. This office will continue to investigate and prosecute those who scheme and prey upon the elderly and others.”

Meanwhile, the lay leadership of Windsor Village defended Caldwell and said in a statement shared on Facebook shortly after the sentencing that the man who led their church for nearly 38 years was a victim in the case as well.

“First, I believe Kirbyjon Caldwell was also a victim in this case. His victimization started when he chose the wrong business partners. He acknowledges this fact and he has accepted full responsibility. This business deal involving investment in Chinese Heritage Bonds resulted in financial harm to a group of investors, victims in the legal case. Mr. Caldwell has apologized and asked forgiveness from the people harmed in this matter. Those include the victims in the Shreveport legal case, his family and the Windsor Village Church family,” Floyd LeBlanc of the church’s personnel committee, said.

Watch the video report below for more details:

Sources: AWMAssociated Press,  The New York Times

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