Pastor gets 54 years in prison for affinity fraud

I've written a lot on affinity fraud, which is the basic form of exploitation that Catholic priests and lay people use when they steal from parishioners or when, for example, the Legionaries of Christ founder Fr. Marcial Maciel expertly employed affinity fraud on a massive, global scale for decades.

Today, in addition to the Watertown, Wis. priest who pleaded guilty to felony stealing (as reported in the NCR Morning Briefing), another story was reported that:

"A judge sentenced a southern Indiana church financier to 54 years in prison Tuesday for pocketing millions of dollars that investors believed would be used to build churches.

Former pastor Vaughn Reeves, 66, had little reaction as officers escorted him from the courthouse in Sullivan, about 80 miles southwest of Indianapolis, said his attorney, who promised to challenge the conviction and the sentence. Reeves was convicted on nine counts of securities fraud in October.

Prosecutors have said the case was a prime example of affinity fraud, in which scammers prey on people who share a common interest, such as religious affiliation, ethnicity or age."

Read the full story here.

For more of my stories and blogs involving affinity fraud, see:

More on affinity fraud

Catholic priests, Fr. Marcial Maciel -- the "efficacious guide to youth," founder and beloved patriarch of the Legionaries of Christ and sexual predator -- Bernie Madoff and others have employed "affinity fraud" to prey on those in a similar religious or ethnic class, as I've previously written.

Madoff and Maciel: Two of a Kind

'Affinity fraud' and the parish priest

Affinity Fraud hits Mormons

Redemptorist fathers caught in Madoff ponzi scheme

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