A former pastor of Tilly Swamp Baptist Church in Conway, South Carolina has pled guilty to cheating members of his church and other investors out of $2.5 million in a Ponzi scheme.
According to the indictment, Archie Larue Evans promised investors in his company, Gold & Silver LLC, that they would receive quarterly interest payments of between 10 and 12%. He then proceeded, over a period of nearly seven years, to either spend or lose the millions of dollars entrusted to him.
In order to avoid being caught, he allegedly prepared and provided investors with fraudulent investment statements that showed false profits. He also allegedly used the statements to lure new investors into the scheme. He then used the new investors’ funds to make “interest payments” to earlier investors. He also allegedly used the funds for his personal purposes.
He pled guilty to one count of mail fraud and the structuring charge on Wednesday the 9th in exchange for the prosecutions’ agreement to drop the remaining charges. The judge assigned to the case has not yet decided whether to accept or reject the agreement.