Jesus told his followers to be as wise as serpents. Sometimes, those serpents are selling gold.
A man in Orrick, Mo., which is about 30 miles from Kansas City, is charged with swindling thousands of dollars from church members, according to KMBC-TV. Two of those members contacted the Ray County Sheriff’s Office in August, saying they were victims of a “deceitful man” who went to church with them.
Harold Eugene Oliver approached several church members with a proposal to purchase gold from Africa. He asked one woman to loan him $3,600, saying he would give her four ounces of gold after he received it. While in New York to supposedly close the deal, he asked her for more money to take care of a snag in the deal. By the time she realized she was being conned, the woman had sent Oliver a total of $43,486 and received nothing in return.
Another person reported a similar scenario and lost $12,850. A third victim who also met Oliver in church invested $4,500, with no return.
READ: Students defy prayer ban
Ray County has issued a warrant for Oliver’s arrest and filed three counts of stealing against him, one for an amount more than $25,000 and two for amounts more than $750.
“They were all friends with him,” Ray County Prosecutor Camille Johnston said. “So they didn’t even think anything about it. Especially since they went to church with him, they didn’t think that he would take advantage of them.”
She believes there could be additional victims.
“The more I talk to some of these people in the church, the more they find out,” she said. “If there’s anybody else, I would like to file for those as well, if they would come forward. I don’t want anybody in our county or anyone else to be victimized by this man, because in situations like this, you’re most likely not going to get your money back. Some of this is money that people need to live the rest of their life on.”
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice News