The attorney for a Houston pastor accused of defrauding investors of millions of dollars says his client is “100 percent innocent.”
Kirbyjon Caldwell and Gregory Alan Smith, a former broker and financial planner based in Shreveport, are facing charges of wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.
Dan Cogdell, the attorney for Caldwell, told Houston NBC affiliate KPRC that “the accusations are simply false. At no time did the pastor conspire with anyone.”
Cogdell said that his client still believes the bonds are legitimate and that he invested more of his own money than anyone else’s money.
According to the indictment, Smith used his influence and status as the operator and manager of Smith Financial Group LLC in Shreveport, and Caldwell used his influence and status as pastor to lure investors to pay more than $1 million to invest in Historical Chinese bonds.
Prosecutors say these bonds were issued by the former Republic of China prior to losing power to the communist government in 1949. They are not recognized by China’s current government and have no investment value.
Both Smith and Caldwell face 20 years in prison for the conspiracy to commit wire fraud count and for the wire fraud counts. They also face 10 years in prison for the conspiracy to commit money laundering count and the money laundering counts. They also face a $1 million fine, restitution, forfeiture and five years of supervised release.