Ex-bishop of Mormon singles ward charged with investment fraud

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  • terra nova Park City, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 4:51 p.m.

    The real problem is greed. People want "money for nothing." If someone offers it and they are religious, they think, "Well, I've been good, this is the way the Lord is going to bless me."

    And he does.

    After you lose your money you end up getting humble. And there are blessings in that. You end up realizing how dependent you are on the Lord. There are blessings in that too.


    I regret that any man or woman in any position of authority would abuse that position. But, "we have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men... to exercise unrighteous dominion."

    Unfortunately, it is not limited to those in the church. But it is disheartening when it happens in the church.

    Read "Approaching Zion," Nibley's book on economics. He suggests that we cannot build Zion using the means and methods of Babylon. He also suggests that if we would follow the biblical injunction: "Having food and raiment, therewith be content," we would live happier more productive lives, build the church better and faster - and of course, be far less prone to fall for schemes promising enormous returns.

  • Millsap fan Taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 3, 2013 4:20 p.m.

    I don't think any bishop should be trying to get his congregation to invest in his business. Leave business out of church. I wouldn't trust any bishop using his members to make money.

  • MyqRic Florence, OR
    Jan. 3, 2013 12:47 p.m.

    Remember: Judas Iscariot was an apostle -- and a thief. Don't put your trust in the arm of flesh (Jeremiah 17:5) even when that flesh holds a high office of trust in the Lord's Church.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 3, 2013 7:35 a.m.

    If they prayed about it and received good feelings then it would have eventually worked out. I have no doubt about that. Need more faith so our prayers can be answered.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Jan. 2, 2013 1:13 p.m.

    Angrymonkey - it is not hard to be a business man when you steal money from your congregation. Furthermore, he has judgements against him, which means he has not been a successful businessman. He used his religious position to influence others to give him money. That is very low, and I don't see how people fall for it. I have been approached by fools trying to get me to do the same thing. They think they are good at what they do. But here is the key.... Ask alot of questions. The more questions you ask, the more confusing their stories usually get if they are a fraud. Keep asking them, and take note of the answers. Then ask them the same questions again and you will get different answers. You see, liars are good at lying, but not good at keeping their lies straight.

  • Lightening Lad Austin , TX
    Jan. 2, 2013 1:00 p.m.

    Why is it that people are so fearful about checking out a company by just doing a 10 sec search on the Internet? It never ceases to amaze the greed that motivates someone to sell their soul by committing fraud as well as those who see big dollar signs just by handing over all the cash they can find to a crook. I cam still recall the larger Utah schemes that promised double your money in 30 days and people were so idiotic to go for it. Ya some legit company is going to say NO to borrowing from banks at maybe 6% because they so badly want to pay Bro Brown 600% for his Iives savings. Think people!

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Jan. 2, 2013 11:43 a.m.

    @TheAngryMonkey28, that's just a super example of forgiveness. No; wait . . not forgiveness, the other thing. What's it called? Oh, yeah -- "willful blindness."

    If the guy didn't appear kind and loving and wasn't able to influence people, this couldn't have happened. You don't often hear about con-men who were arrogant jerks to everyone around them. Kind of defeats the whole purpose.

    And your protestations about the article singling out ward members are petty. Of course many investors outside his ward were involved. Anyone who reads at an 8th grade level understands that. If $50K got your friend a 1% stake, obviously the 99% came from elsewhere. Nowhere does this "sensational" article imply most or all of the funds came from the ward.

    The fact that you and your victim friend are still so pro-Reid does give me an idea, though. I've got a great idea for a can't-miss business. Would the two of you like to invest $25k apiece? I prefer cash.

  • texor Round Rock, TX
    Jan. 2, 2013 11:35 a.m.

    Pretty high profile case like this in Austin, TX that went to trial last year. Member of the Church had a $75m Ponzi scheme going and recruited Heisman Trophy winners as pitchmen. Ty Detmer was one of them that "invested" $2m. Only about $20m went to the stated purposes of the investments, the rest to line the pockets of Kurt Barton. He got sentenced to 17 years in prison, lost his family. Of course, it came to light when people wanted their investment money back. One drunk woman forced her way into his office with a loaded pistol, pointed it at Barton demanding her $150k back. Ironically, he was meeting with another man at the time who wanted his $400k back.

  • TheAngrymonkey28 Syracuse, UT
    Dec. 31, 2012 11:10 a.m.

    Besides being a trusted clergyman, Mr. Reid was a successful businessman, this also was a contributing factor as to why these people trusted him and with their money. Something the author failed to divulge in her sensationalistic article.

    My friend loves the bishop and hopes that the truth will come out...and I hope that the truth will too.

    I love Bishop Reid and always will. He was and is the most kind, loving, and influential man I have ever dealt with in my life. I don’t know if Bishop Reid is guilty or not. That, thankfully, is not for me to decide.

    But, it should be remembered that no matter what the outcome may be, we all do good and bad things in our lives. There is good and bad in all of us. Repentance and Forgiveness is the key and I will choose to love the Bishop for the good that he brought to my life and to many others, even if he is guilty.

  • TheAngrymonkey28 Syracuse, UT
    Dec. 31, 2012 10:46 a.m.

    I was a member of the 14th Ward while Mr. Reid was the bishop.

    I am also very good friends with the ex-Executive Secretary of whom the article quotes.

    I am afraid that the story is very misleading in that it makes it seem as if my friend is the one bringing charges against the bishop, he is not. It is the State of Utah, The Attorney General‘s office that has decided to charge the Mr. Reid. The State of Utah has interviewed all of the "primary" investors involved in this case.

    The author, trying to get her story read by throngs of people, decided to report on the story that Mr. Reid was a bishop and former members of the ward invested in this business.

    The author could have and very possibly did interview many other investors for this article. However, in her desire to capture reader’s attention with a sensationalistic story she decided to single out my friend because of the relationship that he and some of the investors had with the bishop through the church.

    The fact is that there were many more investors involved in this than just members of the ward.

  • Rural sport fan DUCHESNE, UT
    Dec. 30, 2012 2:34 p.m.

    It happens everywhere, not just Utah. People are people, and some are bad, regardless of their religious affiliation.

  • EightOhOne St. George, UT
    Dec. 30, 2012 9:20 a.m.


    of course no one thinks this problem is exclusive to utah or mormons. it's just funny to me because i've seen 3 instances of this very problem in 2 different wards i've attended in the past.

  • mountain man Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 30, 2012 2:34 a.m.

    Its so easy to say dont be gullible. We as a society are not educated or trained to confront fraud artists. They are very very good at what they do. It is impossible to prevent this from happening. Just hope the opportunity doesnt come knocking at your door.

  • Max Charlotte, NC
    Dec. 29, 2012 7:57 p.m.

    @Bigv56 and EightOhOne

    Oh naive ones if you think it only happens in Utah. Be careful. Affinity fraud runs rampant everywhere.

  • I Bleed Blue Las Vegas, NV
    Dec. 29, 2012 7:09 p.m.

    When you mix religion with business things often go south. Too many people get caught up with thinking with their emotions and not thinking with their heads.

  • EightOhOne St. George, UT
    Dec. 29, 2012 5:18 p.m.

    "but...but...but...but he's a bishop! surely he wouldn't rip me off!!!" lol, just like the previous comments, an all too often occurrence here in good 'ol utah

  • bigv56 Cottonwood, CA
    Dec. 29, 2012 3:34 p.m.

    We watch this happen over and over in Utah. Don't you people read the news? If it is too good to be true it is too good to be true.refer to the first posting. Have some healthy skepticism. That is advice from the church way back in the eighties.

  • Max Charlotte, NC
    Dec. 29, 2012 11:54 a.m.

    I don't know whether to laugh or cry. It keeps happening over and over and over again. If super spiritual Brother Jones offers you a once in a lifetime investment opportunity with extraordinary returns and no (or very little) risk RUN THE OTHER WAY. People who value their faith simply do not use their religious ties to enrich themselves. Their faith means too much to them. I feel so sorry for these people who believed this man to be honest based on his church service. But the economic reality is that there is a positive relationship between risk and return. There is no getting around that -- even if you are a bishop.