Alexandria, VA — Terry Wayne and Brenda Millender, a local pastor and his wife, were recently arrested for their alleged involvement in a $1.2 million fraud scheme that victimized hundreds of members in their congregation at Victorious Life Church in Alexandria, Virginia. Also, arrested was a woman by the name of Grenetta Wells who is affiliated with the church.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, they successfully recruited investors by emphasizing its Christian mission and use of the funds to help the poor, but later used the money to conduct risky trading on the foreign exchange currency market, options trading, payments toward the purchase of a $1.75 million residence for the Millenders and other personal expenses
The indictment claims some individual investors gave the Millenders investments in the amount of $40,000, $50,000, $84,000 and $400,000.
When the investors became suspicious, the three allegedly began assuring investors that they would get their money back but blaming the delays on the 2008 financial crisis.
Eric Brown, a former member of the church, said that there had been rumors for years about their financial misconduct.
He told Fox 5 DC, “It didn’t really come as a shock – it was more of a sigh of relief.” He said that his own family invested thousands of dollars into their pastor’s “business” agendas. He recalls, “I asked him like, ‘Hey, that’s a nice car.’ He said, ‘Yeah, $100,000 car. If you save up your money, God’s going to bless you.’ Come to find out now, it was actually part of our money.”
Watch the video below: