Megachurch pastor Wiley Jackson, brother indicted for alleged business scheme
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One of Atlanta's most well-known pastors is accused of cheating his flock. A DeKalb County grand jury indicted Gospel Tabernacle Church Bishop Wiley Jackson and his brother Rodney on eight counts of violating the Georgia Securities Act on Thursday.
"These people are essentially charged with selling securities without a license. In Georgia, this is regulated activity," DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James said.
James said that the Jackson brothers recruited investors to their company, Genesis LLC -- a business that the district attorney says doesn't exist.
"The Secretary of State has confirmed that, at least licensed in Georgia as an LLC, there is no Genesis LLC," James said.
According to his website, Jackson's Gospel Tabernacle Church has three metro area locations. The district attorney says the victims who lost thousands of dollars were parishioners at Jackson's church.
"They invested with them and they lost their money," James said.
One of the three victims named in the indictment lost as much as $10,000.
Jackson released a statement stating, "I am surprised to learn of this indictment. I am out of town and cannot respond until I have read the indictment. There has been no wrongdoing."
But James says the case is clear.
"They operated outside of the law," he said.
James says the investments were ministry and church related.
The maximum penalty Bishop Jackson could be facing is 10 years jail time for each of the eight criminal counts.