Thou Shalt Scam Thy Neighbor?

I don’t know what’s going on recently in the Christian community lately but between the Shiloh Baptist Church and Evangelical Minister defrauding people I’m less surprised to hear about a promotor of Christian rock concerts that plead guilty to federal wire fraud in a $1 million Ponzi scheme.

Is there a new commandment? Thou shalt scam thy neighbor?

Apparently, Lauren Baumann, owner and operator of Stewardship Estates plead guilty to wire fraud in a scheme that took nearly $1 million from victims who were told their money would go towards hosting a Christian rock concert.

Baumann admitted in court today that she solicited loans from investors with claims that the money would be used to finance “battle of the bands” events featuring Christian rock bands and other music groups that would generate profits from ticket sales and company sponsorships. In some cases, Baumann told investors that the funds would also be used to purchase, refurbish and resell homes.

In fact, a substantial portion of the investors’ funds was used to pay earlier investors, who thought they were receiving profits from Baumann’s venture. Baumann also used investor funds to pay approximately $10,000 a month to rent a historic mansion in Downey, California and to pay private school tuition for her children, among other personal expenses.

Over two dozen victims in California lost nearly $560,000 as result of this scheme.

Not only did Baumann scam these Christian rock loving citizens but she also failed to inform them that she had been convicted of securities fraud in Texas back in 1999.

She now faces up to 20 years in prison. More will be known after her sentencing hearing on December 12, 2011 – Source.

If you have been scammed and would like to file a scam report, please click here.

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