Former Flint pastor who pleaded guilty to fraud said jail would equal the death penalty
FLINT, MI – A former pastor in Flint who presented himself as more trustworthy with money than a banker, but was convicted of conspiring to commit wire and mail fraud, said s ‘he was sentenced to prison, that would amount to a death sentence.
An attorney for Larry Holley, 64, said in a U.S. District Court file late last month that his client suffered from kidney cancer, stage four kidney failure, gallstones and chronic heart disease.
He is expected to be sentenced by Judge Laurie J. Michelson on Friday, October 8, and federal prosecutors are calling for him to be sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to the fraud charge in July 2020.
The maximum penalty for the crime is 20 years in prison.
“The law allows for jail time, but not the death penalty,” Holley’s lawyer F. Anthony Lubkin wrote in a memorandum presented to the court. “If a defendant risks dying while incarcerated for lack of care available only from the outside, any sentence of several years inevitably turns into an outright death sentence, which constitutes a violation of due process guarantees. .. “
Lubkin’s record also indicates that a lower sentence is warranted because neither Holley nor his family benefited from his crime and because he was able to consistently maintain the overall value of the business that he built “well above the total amounts owed to investors as long as he had his stewardship.”
Holley admitted in a plea deal last year that he solicited investors for money using “false promises and omissions that the funds would be used for real estate investments in the Flint area. … Or in legitimate securities ”, promising these individuals rates of return ranging from 3 to 21 percent per year and a money-back satisfaction guarantee.
The alleged conspiracy to commit fraud included the transfer of retirement accounts to “self-directed IRAs,” but the plea deal signed by Holley says investor funds were typically deposited into bank accounts controlled by the former. pastor and to make interest and principal payments to previous investors. .
In one case, the plea deal in the case says, Holley persuaded a “victim investor” to take out 15 loans for an estimated total amount of $ 500,000 and transfer the money to a related company before the victim is ultimately forced to file a personal claim. bankruptcy.
In 2017, state regulators shut down businesses linked to Holley, a former resident of Grand Blanc Township and pastor of Abundant Life Ministries International in Flint, and his business partner Patricia Gray, claiming they had operated Church members, retirees and auto workers fooled by deceiving them to invest with them.
Gray also pleaded guilty in 2020 to conspiring to commit fraud and is also awaiting conviction on Friday.
A sentencing memorandum from federal prosecutors says Holley implemented a multi-year Ponzi scheme that leveraged his position as pastor to recruit victims “to invest their savings and retirement funds with him.”
“(This) fraudulent scheme has left in its wake more than 140 victims in several states and total losses of about 9.3 million dollars,” the sentencing memorandum reads. “The victims, many elderly people, lost their savings and their means to support themselves in retirement. “
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