Ex-California pastor gets 14 years after $33M fraud scheme

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WESTMINSTER (AP) – A former Southern California pastor was sentenced Friday to 14 years in federal prison for masterminding a church-based investment scheme that bilked hundreds of victims of more than $33 million. The former pastor of the Westminster-based Church for the Healthy Self, Kent R.E. Whitney was ordered to pay more than $22 million in restitution. He pleaded guilty last year to mail fraud and filing a false federal income tax return. The Securities and Exchange Commission says Whitney and his co-pastor allegedly targeted the Vietnamese community in a multimillion dollar Ponzi scheme. Whitney founded the church and operated it out of an Orange County strip mall. The church did not appear to have a sanctuary, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Mr. Whitney, upo
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