Raleigh, N.C.–Thomas L. Kimmel, 68, was sentenced to 22 years in prison by U.S. District Court Judge James Dever for operating a Ponzi scheme that cost Baptist church goers an estimated $22 million.
Kimmel was hired in 2006 by Sure LIne Acceptance Corp. , the financing are of Automocion, a Smithfield North Carolina car dealership. He held seminars at Baptist churches to raise money, promoting “risk free” investments that were supposedly backed by cars and purchase agreements.
Kimmel was allegedly paying church pastors 1% commissions to steer congregation members his way. Kimmel was earning 10% of the money raised from the mostly retired group of victims who were promised 12% returns. In reality Sure LIne was losing money and eventually collapsed causing many victims to lose their life savings.
Kimmel talked to parishioners about how to live debt free by employing biblical principles.
“Kimmel used his professed spirituality and position of trust as a tool to defraud victims at their churches-the very places they felt the most safe,” Assistant U.S. Attorney David Bragdon said in a statement. “From day one, Kimmel told lies to maximize his commissions. He used trust and faith to defraud hundreds of victims, many of whom invested their life’s savings.”
Earlier this year, James Willis Kirk and Carol April Graff of Washington N. Carolina and Glen Smith, Jr. of Lake Worth, FL, pleaded guilty to selling unregistered securities and other counts in connection with the scheme.
Rex Securities Law provides nationwide representation to investors seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney. Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.
561 391 1900