Pastor of downtown Charleston church accused of running Ponzi scheme

Image by Flickr user Micah A. Ponce Saint John's Reformed Episcopal Church at 91 Anson Street.

Update May 12: Ronald Satterfield has entered into a deal in which he has neither admitted or denied the accusations, but he will pay some $3.5 million in fines and repayment to investors.

I'll point you to The Post and Courier's report; read it here.

Update January 29: As the old civil charges against Satterfield progress, a new set of criminal charges has arisen and has lead to the pastor's arrest.

The Post and Courier has a lengthy update on the latest turn; take a read here.

First reporting November 16: Ronald Satterfield is pastor of St. John's Reformed Episcopal Church and he's also accused of running a $3.3 million Ponzi scheme that paid out old investors with the dollars from new investors.


On Monday, November 15, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced it had charged Satterfield and his South Carolina-based companies, Graham Street Forex Group and Shore-2-Summit Financial, and Nicholas Bos of Ludington, Mich., with operating a foreign currency Ponzi scheme that solicited money from more than 70 individuals in South Carolina, North Carolina, Michigan and Maryland.

The commission also alleges that the defendants used a significant portion of the fund for their personal use.

In a release, the commission goes on to say that "despite receiving at least $3.3 million from customers since 2006, Satterfield placed only about $1.9 million of customers’ funds in known forex trading accounts, virtually all of which was lost as a result of his unsuccessful forex trading. Overall, Satterfield failed to generate any profits through his [foreign currency] trading.

"The complaint charges that, to conceal and perpetuate their fraud, Satterfield and Bos issued false customer account statements reflecting the promised returns and forex trading profits, when in fact Satterfield’s forex trading resulted in losses almost every month. The false statements also allegedly concealed their misappropriation of customer funds. In total, the complaint charges Satterfield and Bos with misappropriating more than $850,000 of customer funds for personal use."

If true, the time frame of all of this would have been when disgraced economist Al Parish's investment scheme came falling apart in 2006.

For more on what's happening, I'll point you to Katy Stech's solid report at The Post and Courier.

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