Ex-Pastor Sentenced In Church Bond Hedge Fund Fraud

Dec 17 2010 | 12:41am ET

A former pastor has been sentenced to 54 years in prison for ripping off investors in his supposed hedge fund of more than $13 million.

Vaughn Reeves was convicted in October of securities fraud. Prosecutors say he told investors his Alanar Inc. would invest in church construction bonds, but that the 66-year-old Indiana man actually spent the money on himself and his sons, who are set to go on trial next year. Among the goodies the Reeves allegedly bought for themselves were airplanes, sports cars and lavish vacations.

“I am terribly sorry,” Reeves said at his sentencing. “We certainly didn’t set out to defraud or hurt anyone.”

Reeves’ lawyer pleaded for a much shorter sentence—possibly just probation—to allow his client to attempt to make investors whole. But the judge said that the number of victims and amount lost justified the longer sentence.

Reeves was also ordered to pay more than $13.1 million in restitution.

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