- Associated Press - Thursday, April 30, 2015

ST. LOUIS (AP) - An eastern Missouri pastor with a wide following has admitted to federal fraud charges for pocketing $570,000 while defrauding investors of more than $3 million.

James Staley of Wentzville faces sentencing July 29 after pleading guilty Thursday.

Staley ran Wealth Financial International and was a sales agent for B&B; Equity. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (https://bit.ly/1EGK5Mf ) reports that he is now pastor of Passion For Truth Ministries.

Federal prosecutors say he promised guaranteed returns that he couldn’t back up. Sixteen people lost $3.3 million.

Staley’s attorney, Scott Rosenblum, stressed that the criminal conduct was unrelated to Staley’s role as a pastor.

Staley has appeared on several Christian TV and radio shows. He is part of the Christian Roots Movement, which he has called a return to core Bible teachings.


Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, https://www.stltoday.com

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