ATL Bishop Eddie Long Gets Sued For Serious Financial Deception. : ThyBlackMan

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ATL Bishop Eddie Long Gets Sued For Serious Financial Deception.

February 20, 2013 by  
Filed under Christian Talk, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Bishop Eddie Long of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church has been sued for allegedly encouraging his congregants to enter into a Ponzi scheme.   The documents were filed in DeKalb County about three weeks ago, and hold Bishop Long accountable for bringing Ephren Taylor into the church to encourage members to invest in his company, which was allegedly operating at a massive deficit.

New Birth members lost over $1 million dollars in their investments, and they now hold Bishop Long responsible for their decision.

If Bishop Eddie Long hadn’t endorsed this they wouldn’t have invested,” said Jason Doss, attorney representing the former members.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has accused Taylor of running a Ponzi scheme, and he has been charged in a pending civil suit.  Effectively, a Ponzi scheme is when you tell your someone that you’re investing theirbishop-long money in one thing, but using it for another. Some companies seek out additional “investor” capital in order to simply pay the bills or keep other investors happy.  The last investor holding the bag is the one who ends up broke.

He preyed upon investors’ faith and their desire to help others, convincing them that they could earn healthy returns while also helping their communities,” said David Woodcock, director of the SEC’s Fort Worth Regional Office in Texas.

The good Lord knows that I haven’t been kind toward Bishop Eddie Long over the past two years.  I am firmly convinced that he is not healthy for his church and certainly not fit for leadership.  I also believe that his members have failed to hold him accountable for past decisions:  When he was first accused of abusing young boys in his church, he promised to reveal everything.  But a few months later, he simply settled the suit behind closed doors.

But as a Finance Professor, I have to step in and say that this unfortunate incident doesn’t necessarily imply that Bishop Eddie Long deliberately deceived those who invested in Taylor.  I truly believe that Long felt that he was helping a young black man build his business and encouraging wealth-building in the African American community.  At worst, Long is guilty of not properly vetting the companies that use his reputation, which would make him no more guilty than Tavis Smiley during his interactions with predatory lender Wells Fargo.

This might be an odd and unpopular thing to say, but I could care less about that.  The point is that there is a thin line between predatory investing and simply losing money.  Had the economic crisis of 2008 never occurred, I argue that 80% of the lawsuits that were filed for predatory/illegal behavior on the part of investment management companies would never have been filed.  People are happy when their investments work out, but when things go south, they look for someone to sue.  I doubt that either Long or Smiley knew that they were endorsing toxic organizations, and I’m willing to bet that most of us would have made the same decision.

This does not, in any way, say that the members of New Birth do not have a legitimate legal claim against Bishop Eddie Long.  The bottom line is that there are serious problems with the way Ephren ran his company, and the former financial golden boy reminds us that all that glitters isn’t gold.  But Bishop Eddie Long’s public video asking Taylor to give the money back is, in my opinion, a legitimate reflection of the fact that Long was just as shocked by this outcome as anyone else. The mistake that Long appears to have made is that he presumed that because Taylor was his friend, he must also be a good investment manager. This gets a lot of people into trouble.

The final lesson to be learned for all of us is that you should NEVER trust the bulk of your resources to any person, whether it be your pastor, a close friend or anyone else.  The trust that Bishop Eddie Long’s congregants placed in him has likely put young boys at risk and led to the financial ruin of people in his church.   One of the reasons that Bill Cosby and Oprah Winfrey have so much wealth is because they were always careful and well-educated about anyone who had access to their money.  There is no excuse to not be financially literate – if the investment is too complex for you to understand, then you probably don’t want to make it.

No one should leave himself in the dark.

Staff Writer; Dr. Boyce Watkins 

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  For more information, please visit http://BoyceWatkins.com.

 

 


Comments

6 Responses to “ATL Bishop Eddie Long Gets Sued For Serious Financial Deception.”
  1. JudithPOwers says:

    To the idiot who claims black people have low IQ’s, how do you explain Dr. Ben Carson, the world’s top brain surgeon, or the world’s top puzzle master being black? What a self-hating idiot.

  2. detroits finest says:

    to dcarter910…your comment was moronic to say the least…” most black people have a very low IQ “….if you cant/dont give factual proof of your idiotic statements then just keep your insane thoughts to yourself. You are a obvious “self hating” black…you remind me of the Sam Jackson role in Django….sometime we ( black people ) are our own worst enemy and sellout wannabes trying to impress whites by putting your own people down ( like you ) prove that. It was brothas like you who hepled sell us into slavery…If I ever was blessed enough to run across you, I would make you eat those words….

  3. Eddie says:

    Stop following man and realize that everyone can be lead into temptation for much less. He is a man that has been spiritually lead astray but he can ask for forgiveness just like you and I and try his very best to follow the laws statues and commandments most of us fall short of following period. A sin is a sin so be careful with your judgement of another man and as a previous respondent stated start with the man in the mirror. May the Most high be with us all much love brother in Christ…
    Eddie

  4. Papacool says:

    The gift of free will is one that can not be regulated, especially when it comes to temptation. If a person wants to better him/herself at the expense of their fellow man, meaning family, friends, and even strangers, they are going to do it if the temptation is high enough. We are some of the most forgiving people on the face of this earth, but we can not seem to grasp the simplicity of not putting your trust in man. All of us are products of our experiences, and truthfully speaking we have ALL fallen short as perfection can not be achieved according to our basic nature alone. I am not judging here, but I have enough sense to know that God knows all and what is done in the dark, shall come to light. When it does, what are we going to do with it? The Truth is what it is and can not ever be stopped. The act of deception is as old as the world itself. As far as the statement of the wealth of Bill and Oprah, do not think for one minute that they did not suffer through trials and tributations in getting to the finanical mountaintop. They are smart enough not to say anything about it, which does not mean things never happened to them and are still happening to them. If the Bishop wanted to right the wrong, why not simply replace the million that was lost by simply writing out a check? No one can control a person’s conscious, as I leave that one for the Holy Ghost. People have got to wake up and see the reality of the world around us and understand that while you can not make everyone else accountable, you can at least be honest enough to start with yourself. I promise you that if you take the first step, you will continue to better yourself so much that you will not have time to waste on other people’s downfalls and problems as everyone has a life to live. Peace out, Papacool. My prayer goes out for the Bishop and those that follow him.

  5. Dcarter910 says:

    Black people still supporting this guy highlights everything wrong with the black community and why the vast majority of blacks would still vote for Obama…most black people have a very low IQ. They will always do self destructive things and vote against their better interest and it is the few intelligent black people that try to carry the immense burden of their willful ignorance.

  6. The Soul Man says:

    Oh my my…what “IS”!!!! the good Christians in ATL breathing??? Didn’t God tell the faithful that Eddie “BOOTY CALL” Long is prepping to save souls as a glorified sky pilot in hell? Come On Hot Lanta!!! If you continue to patronage this guy, Jesus is just gonna quit dealing with the money changers and start enjoying his beer, one has been shopping at Bishop Eddie’s Thrif Store which every chance he gets, he’s running sales on little boys pants “HALF OFF”!!!!!

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