SCAM ALERT: Preacher accused of swindling victims out of millions

Posted at 5:17 PM, May 23, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-23 20:05:50-04

JP Whitehead asks himself “What happened to the money?” often when he tries to figure out how he lost more than $260,000 in an investment scheme.

”He was an elder, a deacon, teacher and even a preacher,” says Whitehead.

”He' is William Spencer, an investment advisor, who was also a member of Whitehead`s church.

”I thought it was a blessing to have someone like that to handle what little money I had to do something with it,” says Whitehead.

Spencer promised generous returns of 10 to 12 percent - and characterized each investment as a 'personal loan'.

Even writing letters like these to investors similar to an IOU, but the notes were worthless.

”These victims were easy prey and Mr Spencer could get what he wanted,” says Larry Dodson, a U.S. Postal Inspector.

”He didn`t force me to do any of that stuff; I did it on my own, but I did it because of the trust I had in him,” says Whitehead.

Postal inspectors say Spencer`s Ponzi scheme unraveled and 100 people lost more than $2 million dollars.

A warning from authorities: never blindly trust anyone managing your money.

“When you`re going to invest, you need to trust and verify,” says Dodson.

In this this case, all of the money was gone.

”I can`t stick my head in the sand, I have to go on and try to overcome it the best I could.”