Kirbyjon Caldwell, Houston megachurch pastor, indicted on $3.5 million fraud

HOUSTON, Texas -- The attorney for Houston megachurch pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell will hold a press conference Friday morning following allegations that Caldwell defrauded people of millions using phony Chinese bonds.

"Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell is a religious leader who has been falsely accused," Caldwell's attorney, Dan Cogdell, said in a statement. "He trusts the legal process completely but most importantly his faith. He will be absolved. We look forward to trying this case in the court of law."

Caldwell has been indicted on fraud charges.

Court papers state that the 64-year-old pastor and investment advisor Gregory Smith sold nearly $3.5 million in pre-revolutionary Chinese bonds to the elderly and vulnerable investors.

The bonds were worthless.

The indictment alleges Caldwell and Smith never paid investors back but instead kept them on the hook with frequent investor calls and promises of payback.

Both men face years in federal prison if convicted, and could be made to pay back millions and forfeit a home the pastor owns in Houston.

Court filings suggest he used money from the alleged investment scheme to pay the mortgage on it.

Caldwell is the senior pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church.
He has a congregation of more than 16,000 people.

Caldwell once served as one of President George W. Bush's spiritual advisors. He even presided over Jenna Bush's wedding.

Caldwell is also a limited partner with the Houston Texans.

The Texans organization is still investigating these allegations.

The pastor may address the media with his attorney on Friday morning
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