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Church Conmen Swindle Millions

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Gordon Brown may also be charged as he too is a Church Conman, swindling millions from the public by convincing the public to invest in the property market using debt to finance the deal. Brown from Scotland worked an elaborate plan over a decade to swindle british investors telling them they were living in a miracle economy.

Brown will attend Bow Street Magistrates Court tommorow morning and Bail is expected to be refused (If only)

A gang of Seventh-Day Adventists who conned millions of pounds from fellow churchgoers to fund a life of wild extravagance have been jailed.

Lindani Mangena and two others posed as City traders to convince more than 1,000 members of their community to invest in bogus schemes which they promised would have returns of up to 25 times the original sums.

Victims included a Spanish cleaner who borrowed money on her credit card, a student who raised £700 by selling her car, a chauffeur who parted with money for his son’s university education and a young couple who lost the cash meant for their wedding.

Other victims of Mangena, condemned by Judge Peter Testar as “pitiless and arrogant”, remortgaged their properties only to lose their homes and life savings. Many fell into depression. During the sophisticated con, which took place over seven months, people handed over at least £3.2 million. Money flooded in so quickly that Mangena installed a cash-counting machine at the gang’s offices.

Mangena and his codefendants, Dean Hinkson and Curtis Powell, were found guilty after a two-month trial. Sentencing them at Southwark Crown Court, Judge Testar said: “It never occurred to members of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, who were many if not most of the investors, that they could be defrauded by one of their own. And it went further than that because people outside that Church did not believe members of it could be dishonest to fellow worshippers, or indeed dishonest to anyone.”

From smart headquarters in the City of London near the Bank of England, the gang offered a variety of bogus investments with vast “guaranteed” profits. Mangena, who was jailed for seven years, told his victims that he was skilled as a spread trader on the Stock Exchange. In reality, he invested only £12,000 of the money he took and lost half of it.

Desmond Vincent, a surveyor, lost nearly £200,000. He said: “When you are a baptised member of the Church people embrace you. I thought the Lord had blessed him. Now he couldn’t sell me chewing gum.”

Mr Vincent said that he was devastated when the truth emerged and he learnt that some pensioners were now homeless. “It was an outrage. This caused a lot of people a great deal of financial difficulty and hardship.”

Stephen Winberg, for the prosecution, said that £1 million disappeared “supporting a wildly extravagant life-style to which the defendants had not, to put it mildly, been accustomed”.

As well as a deposit on a £4.5 million apartment, Mangena rented a £650-a-week luxury flat at St George’s Wharf, Vauxhall. Hinkson, 29, swapped his council house for a home next to his crooked boss and spent £24,700 on a Mercedes and personalised number plate. He also joined Mangena on a £10,000 jaunt to the five-star Sheraton Hotel in Abu Dhabi and spent £55,815 on a stay in the royal suite at the Burj al-Arab hotel in Dubai. He was jailed for 15 months. So, too, was Powell, 31, who spent £25,000 on a BMW 330i and a further £35,000 on a BMW X5 for his mother. Police have recovered £900,000 and are hunting for more.

The judge gave a warning that Mangena was “likely to represent a danger to the public when he is released and I hope that the police watch him very carefully when he eventually emerges from this sentence”.

Mangena, 24, from Romford, East London, was convicted of fraudulent trading between July 31, 2003, and March 1, 2004, money laundering and carrying on an unauthorised investment business. Hinkson, of West Croydon, and Powell, of Thornton Heath, South London, were found guilty of “communicating an invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity”.

Victor Hulbert, spokesman for the Seventh-Day Adventist Church said: “We are obviously saddened when the trust of our members has been taken advantage of like this. It is a cautionary tale that people from all communities need to be careful and take sound financial advice.”

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Guest DissipatedYouthIsValuable

"I am a false prophet, and God is a superstition."

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  • 295 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?

      • down 5% +
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      • up 5%

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