Members of a church congregation swindled out of millions of dollars

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A family fun center is at the heart of a multi-million dollar investment fraud case. (KFSN)

A family fun center is at the heart of a multi-million dollar investment fraud case.

"The fraud involved him offering investment opportunities in this project. He sold securities which were not registered with the state," said Roberta Bottoms, U.S. Postal Inspector. "He" is Christopher Turner, a man who pitched investors to expand the fun center along with other community business ventures.

One of his victims, Ilene Severance, said, "He pretended to be such a honest decent christian man and you never heard anything bad out of him"

Ilene trusted Turner because friends, family and fellow church-goers all seemed to believe in him. She also wanted to help her community.

"It was going to be great for the kids, which I think it would have been, and it was going to be a good thing for the community and provide some jobs for the young people and it sounded like a really good idea." Over time, Ilene invested more than $1-million of her savings with Turner, but that is just the beginning of her losses.

"Come to find out he was you know using credit cards in my name and forging loans and a big mortgage on my property," stated Ilene.

Her losses skyrocketed to $2.5-million. She wasn't alone. One hundred victims lost almost $5-million.

Turner is currently serving a ten-year prison sentence. He has been ordered to pay more than $4.7 million dollars in restitution to victims.
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