The pastor of a Westminster church pleaded guilty Thursday, Nov. 6, to his involvement in an investment scam federal prosecutors say took in $33 million.
From September 2014 to April 2019, Kent R. E. Whitney used his Church of the Healthy Self to solicit investments with promises of a guaranteed an annual rate of return of 12%; there was also guaranteed of the return of the principal with no risk because it was supposedly federally insured.
Prosecutors said few investments actually went into any trading accounts.
Whitney sent bogus reports to investors, prosecutors said. He admitted in his plea agreement to falsely reporting his total income in 2018 as $17,539 when it was actually at least $452,872, prosecutors said, with about $435,333 of Whitney’s income obtained through the scam.
Whitney, 38, of Newport Beach is scheduled to be sentenced April 16 on guilty pleas to mail fraud and filing a false federal income tax return, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Source: Orange County Register