DeKalb grand jury indicts church leaders
4:32 pm, December 20th, 2012
A grand jury indictment against two leaders of Gospel Tabernacle Church accuses them of selling unlicensed securities, a transaction that DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James Jr. said lost parishioners’ money.
Bishop Wiley Jackson and his brother, Rodney Jackson, sold $12,000 in investments to two women and offered to sell a security to a third woman, according to the indictment handed down Thursday.
“When people aren’t licensed and they engage in this type of activity, folks lose money, and that’s what happened here,” James said.
The Jackson brothers sold investment contracts in Genesis LLC, a company that James said doesn’t appear to have been registered with the Georgia secretary of state’s office.
“It’s important to be licensed because when you’re licensed, there’s regulation. The state knows about your company, what’s going on with your company, what kind of investment you’re selling,” James said.
A message left with Wiley Jackson’s office Thursday wasn’t immediately returned.
James said he wasn’t claiming that the defendants committed fraud, but that they didn’t follow legal procedures designed to protect consumers.
The security sales occurred in 2002, but the victims and the state didn’t find out about them until 2009, according to the indictment.