Former Houston Megachurch Pastor Reports To Prison
A former Houston megachurch pastor who pleaded guilty to defrauding the vulnerable and elderly last year has begun his prison sentence.
ABC13 Houston reports that Kirbyjon H. Caldwell is serving his sentence at a low-security federal prison in Beaumont, TX, where he was scheduled to arrive on Tuesday (June 22). The 67-year-old was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud and defrauding investors.
Caldwell is the former senior pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church, a 14,000-member megachurch. He once served as a spiritual advisor to presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
In March 2020, Caldwell and financial planner Gregory Alan Smith were federally indicted of wire fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to sell over $1 million of phony Chinese bonds. According to ABC13, Houston, Caldwell, and Smith sold nearly $3.5 million in worthless pre-revolutionary Chinese bonds to the elderly and other vulnerable investors.
In a January statement, Acting U.S. Attorney Van Hook said, “This defendant used his status as the pastor of a megachurch to help convince the many victim investors that they were making a legitimate investment but instead he took their hard-earned money from them and used it for his own personal gain.”
Religion News Service reports Caldwell was also ordered to pay restitution totaling $3,588,500, along with a fine of $125,000.