Thursday, July 26, 2012

Arthur Ferdig (HWA Assistant) and His Angel Metatron Rip Off Investors

Armstrongism has always been rife with people who were out to make a quick buck off of members and others.  Numerous Pasadena employees and members were involved in every imaginable get rich scheme possible.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars were lost by members over the years to these liars and crooks. Many of the people who did this are now are part of LCG, UCG and PCG.

One woman in Pasadena years ago conned widows and other others out of hundreds of thousands of dollars with her lies.  Doris W. bankrupted numerous people with her lies. People complained to the ministry about her and they did nothing. She was using the money to help her son instead.  He always thought he was God's greatest gift to the church and now regularly preaches in a couple Church of God's.

Pyramid schemes involving Amway, Shaklee, knives, pots and pans, gold bullion and silver investing were the favorite modes of taking members money.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars were lost by members with the gold and silver investing promoted by kitchen, maintenance and accounting employees.

Most of these crooks got away with it because members were brainwashed to never prosecute or sue another member.  Most were afraid to ever report these people to the authorities for fear of being disfellowshipped.

Because of that way of thinking, several men and women got bolder and bolder in their schemes.

One former Church of  God member that did not get away with it though is Arthur Ferdig. Ferdig was a personal assistant to Herbert Armstrong and an editor for the church magazine,  The Plain Truth.

Ferdig was sentenced to 18 months in prison for the  failed Tradex ponzi scheme that ripped off over 100 million dollars from investors.

A tax-evasion charge may not be glamorous, but it's how they caught Al Capone. Ferdig's defence - that this money was a salary - would be blown apart by Kenney, who could clearly show Tradex had been a Ponzi.

To date, Martin Kenney & Co has frozen or liquidated nine Ferdig gang-controlled assets and seized accounts worth over $10 million. A $35 million default judgment has been awarded against Rachel Riotte and Jeff and Alisa Lockhart. A $500,000 judgment was obtained against Elaine Ferdig and her son-in-law David Riotte. And the con man himself is facing a $20 million judgment.

Members of the Ferdig gang are attempting to cut deals, but much of the money is gone, and some had never been there at all. The liquidator has found that 45 per cent of the $80 million (by Kenney's estimate) taken in by Ferdig was paid out in "scam interest". A third went to the Ferdig gang and "to parties of questionable relation to the stated business activities of Tradex". Only 1.5 per cent went on Susan Lok's (loss-making) currency trades. The rest funded operating expenses or was paid to various "bird dogs". Follow the Money

Like Ron Weinland, another Church of God minister recently convicted of tax evasion, Fredig was nailed for the same thing.

The Enterprise Report has learned that Arthur A. Ferdig, a self proclaimed religious leader and financial head of a now defunct offshore wordwide currency trading operation known as 'Tradex' that failed over three years ago, leaving hundreds of investors and over a 100-million dollars in investor funds missing, has been indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in Los Angeles.  He was arrested by federal agents last month.

The charges are detailed in a recently unsealed Federal grand jury indictment obtained by TER.  Ferdig is charged with allegedly failing to pay millions of dollars in U.S. taxes on income obtained via 'Tradex'. He also did not file a tax return for 15 years the government claims. Ferdig was arrested last month and remains in federal custody.  Ferdig and others involved with 'Tradex' have been under investigation since at least 2006 by the FBI and other federal and state agencies.   EXCLUSIVE: THE GURU OF PONZI: INDICTED AND ARRESTED BY THE FEDS: HE TALKED TO GOD AND ANGELS, BUT NOT THE I.R.S.

Ferdig was also known for talking to "angels".  One angel in particular spoke to him regularly, "Angel Metatron."  Fredig even wrote books about this angel:

Ferdig fancied himself “The Bridge” between angels and earthlings. His non-Forex product lineup included “Angel Tears,” defined on his website as “an all-natural, bio-trace  mineral tincture developed to enhance  human health and vitality.”

Ferdig claimed to have met his first angel, Metatron, on Sept. 22, 2002, while Ferdig was peering over rocky sea cliffs in Negril, Jamaica. He later met Gabriel, Michael, Uriel, Ezrael, Ariel, Raphael, Muriel, Bethany “and other wonderful and loving angels and spirits of light,” according to his website. Feds Make Major Arrest In Tax Case Linked To Offshore Forex Fraud Scheme Known As Tradex; Arthur A. Ferdig, Who Claimed To Be ‘Taught By Angels,’ Detained On Felony Warrant

Ferdig's criminal activity also led to drug overdoses and the suicide of a woman who was distraught over losing money and for encouraging others to join the scheme:

The first sign of trouble was the 911 call from Susan Lok's Glendora home. It was March 2003, and the currency trader had just taken an overdose. The ambulance crew was greeted by a suburban Los Angeles house where Lok had been living with her Cambodian father - and secretly passing millions of dollars from a sophisticated Ponzi fraud through the family bank account. Follow the Money

Most Tradex investors had met Ferdig, a self-proclaimed "man of God", through his extensive Christian networks - just as Jewish investors would meet Bernie Madoff. What most of his flock would not have known was that Ferdig had been involved for many years with a controversy-dogged Californian evangelical group, the Worldwide Church of God. Ferdig had worked as "personal assistant" to its founder during the 70s, a period when the church had been rocked by numerous sexual and financial scandals.

McGunn also tracked down a West Indian woman in Santa Domingo in the Dominican Republic, whom Ferdig had married in late 2001 when she was 18 and he was 61. She was living in a condo that Ferdig held under a corporate name and had purchased with money stolen from Tradex. "God told me to sire a son, so I needed a young woman," Ferdig claimed after obtaining a Dominican divorce from Elaine Ferdig, his wife of 36 years.
In between, Ferdig arranged to "marry" a middle-aged Texan woman, who discovered after a year with him that their union was a sham - their Las Vegas wedding had been performed by a fake religious minister (and one of Ferdig's long-time associates). She later went on to train as a private detective and sent her own investigators to shadow the fraudster.
The Kenney investigation also learned that an investor in Bath, Maine, had taken her own life after losing everything to the fraud. She had been one of the earliest followers of Ferdig and subsequently brought others into the programme. After her suicide, her friends said she was not only "wiped out" financially, but also burdened with guilt after watching so many others lose their savings.


Anonymous said...

18 months for stealing the life savings of investors???? This bastard should be in prison for life! Sadly, Ron Weinland will get off light too even though I wish he could be in prison for life.

Anonymous said...

One could go to the WCG in the past--or its splinter groups like PCG, LCG, and UCG today--with the hope that one would meet honest, decent people with the Holy Spirit.

Big disappointment everywhere.

All these groups, from top to bottom, are full of greedy crooks with evil, lying spirits.

This does not mean that God does not exist. It does mean that these professing Churches of God today are simply frauds.

Painful Truth said...

Crime does pay. Let us hope that "karma" also pays...pays back these son of a bitches!

Unknown said...

My hope is that all lying "ministers"(I know of no other kind)will be exposed before their deaths, but I doubt that will happen. No, there's no "spirit" that makes them lie. They are just lying, greedy bastards just like their mentor, and if there is another life after death, I'm sure then they will be exposed and pay for their crimes against people, and hope they get more than 18 months! Maybe an eternity in hell fire!

Assistant Deacon said...

The descriptions given in scripture of angels of light do not suggest that they would tell a messenger to rip people off, let alone leave his wife to sire a child with a young woman. But yeah, Art, let me read them there books o'yorn, would ya'?

"Arthur 2: The Reckoning," coming soon to a theater near you...

Byker Bob said...

Just some more indication from the condition of the fruit and branches that the trunk and tree which spawned them are totally rotten.

One is forced to wonder how much more graphic a message would be required to make the Armstrong loyalists realize that their favorite apostle was a false teacher who plagiarized and made things up as he went along, using only elements that had the highest manipulative value.


Anonymous said...

The original post began with saying:

"Armstrongism has always been rife with people who were out to make a quick buck off of members and others. Numerous Pasadena employees and members were involved in every imaginable get rich scheme possible. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were lost by members over the years to these liars and crooks. Many of the people who did this are now are part of LCG, UCG and PCG..."

Well, that all reminded me of a favorite fairy tale I have titled: Emperor's New Clothes, retold by Rochelle Larkin and from Publishers and Waldman Publishing Corp., New York, N.Y. It says:

"One day, two strangers appeared...pretended to be special tailors, but they were really two bad men who were going to take advantage of the emperor's vanity."

They have nothing to do with the 2 witneses, but at one point they profess to be able to weave a very fine cloth, nothing quite like it in the entire world, so remarkable only the most remarkable people could see it. The emperor wanted to have a suit made from that cloth and it would tell him "...if any of his ministers or other officials were undeserving of their jobs."

"God or mammon:" ring a bell? A job to provide the $mammon$!

Oh, it's interesting that the writer uses the phrase " his ministers" in the write-up! And it was "bad news" for any who could not see that new cloth!

The story goes on and, as most know, the nakedness is exposed.

The last page shows a picture, illustrated by a Yvette Banek, of the two strangers, huge smiles on their faces, in a carriage high-tailing it out of town with bags of $money$...wealth...mammon!

And the story concludes with these words: "...As for the two stangers, they were already gone. No more was ever seen of them, or of the gold they had taken, than was ever seen of the cloth they had pretended to weave."

The story sounds like this original post written above.

We may ask: where is GLOBAL today, or as I've heard some refer to it as "Go Baal?" Where is WCG today?

And guess where the United association, COGWA assoc., Living group, Philadelphia...etc., name an xcog...where they be in time? It is only a matter of time before their nakedness is openly exposed for one and all to see.

History keeps repeating itself over and over again from generation to generation, so it seems!

For any wanting the Biblical perspective on this, rather than a fairy tale, well, there is Ezekiel 34 for a good read...


Corky said...

The whole gang needs to be rounded up and put in prison - except, of course, for HWA and GTA - they're dead, after all.

I don't know of any punishment for these old remnants of the Armstrong crime syndicate that would be enough on this side of the grave.

There won't be any punishment on "the other side" 'cause there is no other side of the grave no matter how much people want to believe there is.

However, they will soon all be gone and the world will be shut of 'em and be a much better place for it.

Unknown said...

Corky said...
However, they will soon all be gone and the world will be shut of 'em and be a much better place for it.

MY COMMENT: Well. let's see, Corky, is the world a better place after Herbie and Teddy checked out? Nope! After the big spiders got squashed, all the little spiders just scattered. Now, we got little Herbie and Teddy wannabes crawling around ripping people off.

Anonymous said...

Art Fertig. The name just BEGS to be turned into a spoonerism.

Hugh Boettcher Rass

Byker Bob said...

I once had high hopes, but frankly, I'm told there are even a handful of flat earthers still present in modern civilizations.

This perversion of the New Covenant, or mixing the old with the new, and combining other weird theories into the mix has been going on for years. I expect Armstrongism will just continue to morph, and like the basic concept of the Ponzi scheme, or the concept of commnunism, it will continue to be exploited as a method of controlling people. It's too darned effective not to, and provides a guise of respectability because it is "religion".

Over the past decades, organizations and measures concerned with accountability have sprung up. Some evangelists and churches have voluntarily subscribed to a system of peer review in these areas. I'd be very surprised if any of the ACOG splinters were to embrace this kind of transparency, though. It'd elliminate some of the sins they were taught by their apostle, and some would think of that as forsaking the faith once delivered, as if HWA were some sort of Christlike figure.


Anonymous said...

Art Ferdig. Scum clean through. What a fake and a farce. I am sure God has something special in store for this worm. He was so arrogant and self-righteous, full of lies. Ask if his rip-offs didn't also provoke the suicide of his brother-in-law after he put all his Sheriff's retirement money with Art in some off-shore scheme. Of course, it was all lost and not recoverable. What heartache his own family went through when Art took money, with promises, even from the meager funds of his father-in-law. He ripped off his own sister, brother, and nephew just to name a few. These hard-working people would ill-afford to lose their money. Art is a real vulture! Signed: a former family member