A Vallejo pastor who defrauded members of his congregation out of almost a million dollars was sentenced to nearly 24 years in prison, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Friday.
“This is a despicable case in which church congregants trusted their pastor and then lost their life savings,” Becerra said in a statement. “Today’s sentence serves as a stern warning – the California Department of Justice will vigorously descend on individuals who use positions of trust to scam people.”
Luther Feltus-Curry, 69, targeted congregants at Revival Center Ministries who were about to retire or who came upon large amounts of money, and used his position as a trusted pastor to defraud them, according to the attorney general. Between 2008 and 2012, Feltus-Curry and a co-conspirator, Alma Perez, created shell companies and promised their victims low risk and high returns. But instead, the pair used the money for personal expenses and get-rich-quick schemes, ultimately defrauding the victims of their whole investment.
Feltus-Curry, who was convicted in February of 27 felony counts of theft and securities fraud, was sentenced to 23 years and eight months in prison. Perez was sentenced to 10 years in prison earlier this year.
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