A Chandler man who bilked more than 40 churchgoers from Chandler Christian Church and Vineyard Church in Avondale out of more than $8 million over a period of five years, was sentenced to five years in prison for the crimes.
Edward Anthony Purvis was convicted of one count of illegal control of an enterprise after initially being charged with numerous counts of fraudulent schemes and artifices, according to Maricopa County Superior Court records. He also was ordered by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Bruce Cohen to pay $3.8 million in restitution and was sentenced to seven years probation after release from prison, according to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.
From February 2002 to March 2007, Purvis persuaded other church members to invest their money with his bogus company, Nakami Chi Group Ministries International, with promises of 2 percent monthly returns.
However, Purvis was not registered to deal in securities and deposited the money into his personal accounts and spent it for personal use, according to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. He also failed to report to investors that his business was not generating a profit and that the source of returns was from new investors.
In an issued statement, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne said, “Mr. Purvis stole millions from those who trusted him. This crime is a sad reminder that people need to be extremely cautious with whom they trust their finances and they should fully understand the investments they are making. Crimes like this are all too common.”
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