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Barry Minkow, the con man-turned-pastor-turned con man, may face more criminal charges, according to a story in the New York Post today (Sept. 25). Minkow is now serving a five-year sentence in the Federal Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky after he was found guilty of defrauding builder Lennar Corp. through his Fraud Discovery Institute, which was tied to Mira Mesa's Community Bible Church, where he was head pastor. Minkow split his time between saving souls and chasing crooks through the institute.

He actually did some high-quality work exposing monkey business at multi-level marketing companies, but he got into trouble when he made untrue charges against Lennar while shorting the stock. Officials in that company's home state of Florida nailed him on fraud charges, and he went to the Kentucky prison, where he is in drug rehabilitation. He is due to be released next year, unless the San Diego matter extends his stay behind bars.

The Post based its story on a letter written by the federal prosecutor in Miami who handled the Lennar case. He wrote a letter to a Florida federal judge stating that Minkow "is likely to be transported soon, via a writ, to the Southern District of California in connection" with the Community Bible Church charges.

Federal investigators have been investigating claims that Minkow used church money to support the investigations business. Two years ago, the church made allegations to the court that delayed Minkow's sentencing. The letter said he improperly used church funds to finance Fraud Discovery Institute.

In 2007, I did a column about a member of that church, William Newsome, who, among many things, complained that the fraud-busting institute was on the premises of the church. Newsome peppered the church with financial questions that went unanswered. Newsome got suspended by the church.

As a teenager in the Los Angeles area, Minkow created a multimillion dollar stock fraud, ZZZZ Best, supposedly a carpet-cleaning operation. But almost all the sales were fraudulent and he was sentenced to 25 years in prison. He got out in seven years after supposedly finding God. He became head pastor of the church and raised a bundle of money for it, as its growth spiraled upward.

Then Minkow went too far in the Lennar case, and it has been all downhill since.

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Comments

FatCatSegat Sept. 25, 2013 @ 2:20 p.m.

Hey, honey! Git me my soap box from under the case of white lightnin' Mason jars. Ah gots me sumpin' to say. Ahem, mmmmmmmggghhhhmm ahem. Now you lissen here you bunch a' rubes an' idjets. I found the Lord an' he says fer you'se ta' emty' yer' pockets! Ahm on a mission to defraud.....ahem Ah means' ta' expose the fraudulent,... ah well, see you in twenty. But seriously folks, Dont mess with the big guy upstairs. The last thing he's going to want to see,(besides a damned cross!) will be false prophets. So hey Minkow, don't ask why when he kicks yer ass, eh?

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Don Bauder Sept. 25, 2013 @ 2:41 p.m.

FatCatSegat: I dealt with Minkow. He complained about some of my columns about him, but didn't complain about others. After he was sprung from prison the first time, he won the trust of federal agencies, for which he put on seminars.

He talked very fast, even in his recorded phone messages. I was suspicious of that. I did a couple of columns based on very good work that he did. But I wouldn't bite on the Lennar story, and I know that was true of at least one other paper in San Diego. It's one thing to expose a multi-level marketing company, even though it is a large, listed firm. It is quite another to take on the biggest builder.

Minkow would openly state that he shorted stocks of companies he was exposing. There was technically nothing wrong with that as long as it was disclosed. However, he got in trouble for using false information against Lennar.

After my 2007 column on the Newsome complaints about Minkow, the church would not cooperate with me. Best, Don Bauder

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thejimmer Sept. 25, 2013 @ 3:53 p.m.

this guy Barry Minkow hood winked the entire population of the church. as they say, once a drug addict always a drug addict and in barry case a fraud-ster will always be a fraud-ster. as he said on a few occasion as I sat there listening to him spew out how he had a monkey on his back and he was always keeping it at bay. Well we found out the truth. this is why I do not go to these churches anymore. too many of these so called peachers have a different agenda. not all but a select few which seems to be abound. we have priest who molest boys. we got peachers who turn out to be unfaithfull to their wives and family members - jimmy swagger is a good one. jim and tammy baker who swindle millions out of the people - at best from what was said at one time at this church, the amount ole barry hood winked is probably still being tally up.

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Don Bauder Sept. 25, 2013 @ 7:41 p.m.

thejimmer: Religion is a great cover for a crook. If you go to some corporate meeting, or hear someone giving a sales pitch, and everyone is asked at the beginning to bow their heads in prayer, button your wallet pocket. Best, Don Bauder

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FatCatSegat Sept. 25, 2013 @ 6:59 p.m.

On a personal and spiritual level, this is where I am most offended. Because of this charlatan, many people will turn from God saying, "See, they're all shysters vying for our money." Its not like that but, people that love money will do what they want. Damn the torpedoes. Hey Don, got a personal issue I need to ask you about. Fact is I need your help investigating something and don't know where to turn. Can you help on a research question ? b.renesegat@yahoo.com

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Don Bauder Sept. 25, 2013 @ 7:46 p.m.

FatCatSegat: To be cynical about it, think of this: godly people will tell you to put money in the basket and their preachings will get you into heaven. Nobody has ever come back to demand his/her money back. Best, Don Bauder

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John Kitchin Sept. 26, 2013 @ 11:25 a.m.

Since the first thing you learn in the seminary is that no minister believes in God, heaven, or hell, all religion is, technically, fraud, which is why the skills to be a con-man or a minister are the same. The difference is that religion is generally done to try to improve lives (while making a profit) while other fraud only tries to make money, not improve society.

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Don Bauder Sept. 26, 2013 @ 1:19 p.m.

John Kitchin: If upon entering a seminary one learns that no minister believes in God, heaven or hell, why do people stay in seminaries? Best, Don Bauder

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