The “Christian music” industry is known for various questionable practices, let alone the nature of the music it promotes. Regardless of what one thinks of it, the fact is that there are people who are good and bad actors in it. According to the Christian Post, a Christian concert promoted was arrested after he defrauded $1.6 million dollar from investors.
A federal judge has ordered a Christian music promoter to pay back nearly $1.6 million in investor funds he promised would be used to put on Christian music festivals but instead used to pay down debt.
In a 23-page judgment Tuesday, U.S. District Judge John H. Rich III of Maine said 56-year-old Jeffrey Wall and his company, The Lighthouse Events LLC, are liable for the disgorgement of over $1,589,815 in profit gained from defrauding investors.
Additionally, the judge ordered the payment of over $200,000 in interest and imposed civil penalties of $1,589,815 against both Wall and Lighthouse Events.
Lighthouse Events, which came to existence as a limited liability corporation in 2015, described itself as a Christian ministry that promoted, organized and hosted Christian music conferences and festivals throughout the New England area. Wall is its founder and sole member.
The company allegedly operated in an unincorporated fashion for seven years before 2015.
But in April 2019, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Wall and Lighthouse of defrauding nearly 150 investors solicited to become “financial partners” of the company.
SEC alleged that from January 2014 through October 2018, Wall and Lighthouse fraudulently raised over $3.1 million in unregistered offerings from over 149 investors to promote Christian music concerts in the region.
In its complaint, the SEC said Wall and Lighthouse falsely told potential investors that their funds would be used only to promote and host Christian music concerts and even guaranteed repayment of their investments without informing them of Lighthouse’s financial struggles due to high interest from short-term loans and declining ticket sales.
According to the SEC, investor funds were used for other expenses such as paying Lighthouse’s existing debt and making payments to earlier investors using new investor funds. (source)