Thursday, April 30

Passion For Truth Ministries's Pastor " Jim Staley " admits defrauding elderly investors

ST. LOUIS • A controversial St. Charles County pastor with a worldwide “Christian Roots” following pleaded guilty to four charges in federal court here Thursday, admitting he defrauded elderly investors.
Jim Staley, 40, falsely claimed that the investments he peddled were risk-free and would yield a big profit in just two years. He didn't tell investors he and others would immediately siphon off at least 40 percent of the money in commissions.
He also didn't tell them that they'd lose everything if the investment couldn't be sold.
In all, 16 investors lost $3.3 million while Staley made $570,000 in commissions, officials said.
At the time, Staley owned a financial consulting firm. He is now pastor of Passion For Truth Ministries. He did not respond to requests for comment left in advance of the hearing this week.
After Thursday's plea hearing, lawyer Scott Rosenblum stressed that Staley's criminal conduct "had nothing to do with his role as a pastor."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Dianna Collins said that Staley's victims were elderly, and some invested because they said he was a Sunday school teacher and a "nice religious man." They treated Staley like family. He called several "Grandma," she said.

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