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Rip-Off Alert: Religious ties used to lure financial victims

Reported by: Marie Mortera
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Updated: 7/11/2013 1:18 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV -- This is a lesson that investors need to always keep in mind: If someone promises you a high-guaranteed return with no risk, run the other way.

In this Rip-Off Alert, some learned the hard way and lost a fortune.

Brothers Jim and Pat Taylor were both caught in a scheme that cost each of them more than $100,000.

Jim Taylor learned about an investment involving the buying and selling of foreign currency and told Pat about it.

"I had already lost some money in the stock market,” Pat Taylor said. “If I had not lost that money in 2008, I might not have been as anxious to get into something like this. But I was looking for an opportunity to make back some of the money my wife and I lost.”

The Taylor brothers were lured in by a man who claimed to be a Christian like them, so they felt they could trust him.

"He was very adamant about the fact that he wanted to only work with Christian people, that he would not take non-Christians as clients,” Pat Taylor said.

"He suckered people in that way and got them to believe that money they put in they would get a 10 to 13 percent return guaranteed with no risk at all,” said U.S. Postal Inspector Amanda McMurrey.

Postal inspectors say there were more than 80 victims and $50 million in losses.

"If you don't understand how the investment works that might not be the investment for you,” McMurrey said. “A guaranteed return is a guaranteed loss because all investments are risky."

Jim Taylor says his biggest regret was dragging his brother into the scam.

"I brought him in and threw his money away, and that matters worse,” he said. “Not only did I lose my money, I lost his."

"I don't hold him to blame in any way shape or form," Pat Taylor said.

The mastermind behind the scheme pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $15 million in restitution to the victims.



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