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4 Mar 2008

Christian Hedge Fund Founder Arrested For Fraud

Hedge fund founder, Steve K. Wilson, was arrested last week on charges related to fraudulent hedge funds operating under the names; Christians in Crisis Investment Fund, Shake the Nations and Opus Capital Holdings. He is being held without bail.

According to FBI allegations, Wilson solicited individuals to invest in what he described as a high risk hedge fund which, based on the investment agreement, promised investors a 2% monthly return (24% annual return) on their investment. The agreement also gave the investors the ability to withdraw earnings, or after one year, the investor could ask for the return of their principal.

Investigators determined that Wilson maintained two financial accounts associated with Christians in Crisis (CIC). Investor contributions were deposited into a Washington Mutual (WaMu) account in the name of CIC Investment Fund. A portion of the money was then transferred into an Ameritrade brokerage account in the name of CIC International. An analysis of these two accounts demonstrates that the CIC Investment Fund operated as a Ponzi scheme.

During the period of March 2006 through July 2007, approximately $9 million was deposited into the WaMu account. Wilson withdrew at least $1.1 million for personal expenses such as a 2007 Porsche Cayman and a 2006 Sea Ray yacht.

He disbursed approximately $2.06 million to investors as capital appreciation or earnings. These payments were not the result of earnings and appear to be lulling the investors into a false sense of security. The money came from new investors.

Authorities say Wilson, a.k.a. Stefan Andre Wilson, changed his name to hide a fraud conviction and bankruptcy filing, and convinced some of his investors to refinance their homes in order to invest in his fund.

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