Investors accuse megachurch of fraud conspiracy - CBS46 News

Investors accuse megachurch of fraud conspiracy

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LITHONIA, GA (CBS46) -

Embattled megachurch pastor Bishop Eddie Long faces more legal troubles, this time from a group of church members who accuse him in an investment scam that cost them more than $1 million.

Ten members of Long's New Birth Missionary Baptist Church said Long used his power as a pastor to get them to invest in the financially troubled City Capital Corp.

The plaintiffs said in a lawsuit that in 2009 Long invited Ephren Taylor, then CEO of the company, to speak at New Birth. Taylor told members how they could get rich. Instead, the plaintiffs said, they lost all of their money.

For church member Lillian Wells, that adds up to $122,000, her entire life savings.

"(Taylor) knew what he was doing and it was one more plot to get money from us," Wells said.

Quinton Seay, one of the lawyers representing the parishioners, said Long gave his seal of approval to Taylor and his company.

"He didn't just bring Ephren Taylor to the church, he endorsed him, recommended him, validated him," Seay said.

That validation cost Wells her home, which is now in foreclosure because she has run out of money. 

"I've worked hard for this money, to live comfortably for the rest of my life. And now I'm getting threatened to be out on the streets," Wells said.

Wells has until Nov. 1 to try to save her home.

New Birth spokesman Art Franklin declined to comment. Taylor did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

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