Follow us:

The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

April 27, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Tukwila pastor sentenced to prison for Ponzi scheme

A Tukwila pastor who defrauded parishioners and others out of more than $1.8 million was sentenced this morning to 40 months in prison and ordered to pay $1.8 million in restitution, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Anthony C. Morris, 48, the pastor of New Covenant Christian Center,  pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering in January. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release that he admitting to running a Ponzi scheme in which early investors were paid off from the money taken from later investors. 

Morris told his victims that their money would be placed in an overseas trading program, or used to invest in property for his church, according to the news release. He falsely claimed he would return investor money in as little as a few days or a few weeks, with returns as high as 400 percent. 

At Morris’ sentencing in U.S. District Court in Seattle , U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones said Morris “did not resist temptation and left a trail of victims,” the news release said.

Questions have dogged Morris for years about what he did with money he took from two dozen investors. Several people have gone to court to obtain judgments against him after they said they were never repaid tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The New Covenant Christian Center was previously located in Seattle and Renton, but moved to Tukwila. Some of the money Morris bilked from investors went to his expenses and for the expenses of his church, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says.

Comments | Topics: fraud, Ponzi scheme, Tukwila

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►