On Sunday, members of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in suburban Atlanta and along the East Coast had something to shout hallelujah about. They’re now getting closer to having their say in court against self-proclaimed millionaire Ephren W. Taylor Jr. the former chief executive of City Capital Corporation in Chicago. Federal prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation against him for allegedly scamming churchgoers of millions of dollars.

The disgraced executive is accused in civil complaints of scamming churchgoers out of $11 million. According to the civil complaint, Taylor promoted two offerings: promissory notes with an annual return of 12-20 percent in interest and sweepstakes machines that would generate an astronomical return of 300 percent in the first year.

Lawyers for the plaintiff are accusing Taylor and co-defendant Wendy Jean Connor of operating a classic Ponzi scheme.

A federal judge concluded that Taylor must repay those investors more than $14.5 million, which includes interest.

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