The U.S. Attorney's Office reported that an ex-pastor in Orange County was sentenced to 168 months in federal prison for orchestrating a church-based scam that took more than $30 million from investors. Kent Whitney, previously out of Newport Beach, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Josephine Staton. Whitney previously pleaded guilty to a two-count information charging him with wire fraud and filing a false income tax return.
From 2014 through 2019, Whitney scammed investors through the Church of Healthy Self, a non-profit organization, and its related entities. Whitney started these organizations and operated them from a strip mall in Westminster.
Whitney would fraudulently solicit investors from various media sources and guarantee a return with no risk because the investments were federally insured. Whitney would send false reports to investors and even paid approximately $11 million in Ponzi-scheme payments to investors.
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