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Tacoma man charged with $6 million church-related fraud

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on March 31, 2009 at 1:55 pm with No Comments »
March 31, 2009 1:55 pm

A Tacoma man, John H. Min, lived a lavish lifestyle while raising more than $6 million from investors in a fraudulent investment scheme, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged today.

Min bought a $70,000 Mercedes luxury car, sent his children to private schools and took elaborate vacations using the proceeds of the alleged scam, the government claimed.

Min focused on churches and their members and senior citizens as potential investors while claiming that his Dime Financial Group benefited charitable groups in developing countries, charging documents claimed.

He told potential investors that he was able to generate extraordinary rates of return by using his expertise in foreign exchange markets, the SEC claimed.

Attempts to contact Min were unsuccessful this afternoon.

In court filings in a civil case filed by some of his investors in Pierce County Superior Court, Min declared that his investors were made fully aware of the risks of currency trading.

Their losses, he said, were caused by many of the same global economic developments that have caused major banks and financial institutions worldwide to report huge investment declines.

Min said that he believes that the evidence will show “that I had no intention to defruad or misrepresent anything, and it always my hope and desire that we could provide real benefits to our customers.”

“This case serves as an unfortunate reminder that investors need to be wary of possible fraud schemes even when the person offering the investment appears to be part of a humanitarian, religious or other community of trust,” said Marc Fagel, Director of the SEC’s San Francisco Regional Office.

“Min also illicitly used investor funds to bankroll a failed film venture about evangelical churches, and to pay expenses relating to the operation of the fraud. When Min did actually invest the funds, his trading record was abysmal. He lost more than $5 million on the Forex market, according to the SEC’s complaint,” the government claimed in a news release.

Min has also been charged in federal court with criminal violations in connection with the same conduct.

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