Total Depravity: Yet Another Criminal ‘Pastor’ Edition

An East Tennessee preacher is heading to prison after admitting he operated fraudulent investment ventures.

In Knoxville Monday, Roger Williams plead guilty to money laundering, mail fraud and obstruction of federal taxes. It estimated he cost investors over a million dollars in what the federal government is calling a ponzi scheme.

WATE 6 On Your Side investigator Don Dare first reported on Williams in the summer of 2014. Williams was preacher at a church near Gatlinburg for 11 years and has been the soul operator of investment ventures for 15 years.

In July 2014, Jimmy Vineyard told WATE 6 On Your Side he had put money into Williams’ Dash Holdings and Open Door Investment. With a lure of 15 percent growth yearly promised by Williams.

Vineyard had over $400,000 invested in the ventures. However, when his wife, Ellen, became ill, Vineyard said he asked Williams for the money he had invested and was told there was not any to withdraw and his entire life’s savings were gone.

Two things: ‘preachers’ who also run investment groups can’t be trusted.  And second, if someone tells you they will get you 15% return, they’re lying and you buy into it because you’re greedy.

Were it not for greed, financial scammers would be out of business.