Houston megachurch pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell and his attorney, Dan Cogdell, held a press conference today to maintain Caldwell’s innocence. The pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church insists bonds he sold are legitimate. Cogdell says he absolutely believed the bonds were worth more than he sold them for.
Caldwell is accused of defrauding people of millions using phony Chinese bonds. Cogdell insisted that the pastor invested a significant amount of his own money, and even personally refunded nearly $1 million to anyone who was unhappy with the investment.
Court papers state that the 64-year-old pastor and investment advisor Gregory Smith sold nearly $3.5 million in worthless pre-revolutionary Chinese bonds to the elderly and vulnerable investors. The indictment alleges Caldwell and Smith never paid investors back but instead kept them on the hook with frequent investor calls and promises of payback.
Both men face years in federal prison, if convicted, and could be made to pay back millions and forfeit a home the pastor owns in Houston.
Cogdell wouldn’t answer detailed questions, but promised they will ‘beat this case like a rented mule.’
“Every single person who has asked for their money back has gotten their money back,” Cogdell said.
Many supporters questioned the release of the indictment – on Good Friday – and say Caldwell is a man of integrity that they will support to the very end.
“I’ve known this man over 30 years. He is a good man who cares about his community,” said member, Howard Jefferson. If anything, he was scammed. We are standing by him.”