The Stoltmann Law Offices Commercial Litigation Group filed a Class Action Complaint in the Northern District of Indiana Federal Court seeking in excess of $5,000,000 in damages against First Baptist Church of Hammond who allegedly assisted in a Ponzi Scheme called Sure Line Investments operated by a Church Deacon Thomas Kimmel who was retained by the church to teach financial responsibility and provide secret kickbacks to Pastor Jack Schaap totally 1% of the stolen funds.
Kimmel, was sentenced in 2014 to 22 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $16.5 million in restitution after being convicted in federal court in Raleigh, North Carolina of defrauding hundreds of investors. Schapp is now serving a 12-year sentence for having sex with child who was also a church member.
The federal indictment against Kimmel characterized Sure Line Investments as a Ponzi scheme where investors were paid their interest from new investor money.
The Class Action should come as no surprise to First Baptist because an attorney retained by First Baptist Church, advised Pastor Jack Schaap around November 2007 they should not be offering Sure Line Investments to parishioners “because it could violate Indiana law and the parishioners were largely unsophisticated investors.”
The Stoltmann Law Offices Commercial Litigation Group is currently investigating and prosecuting several other churches involved in similar schemes where church leaders were given kickbacks by unscrupulous financial advisors in exchange for leading their flock into a den of thieves. Please contact us if you or a loved one has been victimized at church.
“And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.” Luke 18:45-46