An Alexandria, Virginia pastor and his wife, founders of the Victorious Life Church, have been arrested on charges of defrauding their congregation of $1.2 million, according to The Washington Post.
Terry Wayne Millender, 52, and Brenda Millender, 56, ran a company called Micro-Enterprise Management Group that “claimed to help poor people in developing countries by providing small, short-term loans for businesses,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia said in a statement, writes The Post:
Between 2008 and 2015, the Millenders recruited investors by discussing their company’s Christian mission, but they actually used the funds they raised for risky trading in foreign currency markets and for the purchase of a $1.8 million home, prosecutors said. They said the defendants also blamed delays in paying back their investors on the 2008 financial crisis.
The Millenders and another member of Victorious Life Church accused of being involved in the fraudulent business, 52-year-old Grenetta Wells of Alexandria, were indicted on Oct. 20, prosecutors said. They face charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering that could bring up to 20 years in prison, according to prosecutors.
Drew Hutcheson, an attorney for Terry Millender, said his client was arrested after church on Sunday with no warning.
The news outlet writes that Terry Millender was arrested Sunday, while Wells was arrested Monday. Neither was available to comment.
SOURCE: The Washington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty