Hope Chapel parishoners sue ex-pastor, church for investment fraud

Full story: Daily Breeze 334
Also named in the lawsuit, filed this week in Los Angeles Superior Court, is the church itself - the plaintiffs say leaders told them it would be "un-Christian" to sue, among other allegations - and its denominational body, the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel based in Los Angeles. Full Story
RB RN

Hemet, CA

#26 Sep 18, 2009
Better to be Catholic and trust the Pope.
loathingofsociet y

AOL

#27 Sep 18, 2009
Is pastor zac stil preaching?
Rational World

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

#28 Sep 18, 2009
On so many levels, it should be called "Dope Chapel".
Kris

Oxnard, CA

#29 Sep 18, 2009
This really is a shame. It's too bad that one man could do so much damage to a great church. I do not attend Hope, but my son's do. Hope Chapel is an fabulous church and I pray this doesn't affect there amazing work.
Concerned

United States

#30 Sep 18, 2009
The saddest part of this is that now the "truth" will become secondary to the secular, media driven, "Christian witch-hunt" mentality that prevails on our culture. Just look at some of the above posts... The love of Christ will always transcend the sin of man.
Juniper

Arcadia, CA

#31 Sep 18, 2009
I went to this church for over 20 years and I am not surprised at any of this. It is sad to me how people who profess to be Christians can act in a deceitful and damaging way, and then expect to use the Bible as a way to avoid responsibility. Maffe should be held legally accountable.
One of the Faithful

Santa Maria, CA

#32 Sep 18, 2009
For those of you who don't know any of these people, you are only judging by one piece of one side. There is the Plaintiff side, The Defendant's side, and somewhere in the MIDDLE is the truth. I know all of the individuals referenced--some better than others--, yet I still don't know the whole story. It behooves me for those of you all to sit in judgement of one person, and paint a wide brush stroke that every Christian is like that ONE person who makes poor choices. It's akin to me saying all men are like Jeffrey Dahlmer because ONE person made a terrible choice.

Yes, Mike Maffe made a very poor choice. For whatever his reasons were--well intentioned, ill intentioned or otherwise, it was a terrible choice. The last time I looked, Mike never professed to be perfect and without any character flaws. Neither has Pastor Turner, Pastor Zac, or any of the individuals who go to Hope Chapel.

I can pretty well guarantee Mike Maffe did not hold a gun to the heads of the people who "invested" with him. They opted to...whether they were well informed or not, they voluntarily gave him the money to invest. That was THEIR choice. It was not considered "sanctioned" church activity. Nobody was asked to stand before the congregation and solicit donations. There was not an offering plate passed specifically for the purpose of adding to his "fund".

Is EVERY church affected by this one action? To a degree, yes. Unfortunately it does cast shadows on the entire Christian community, especially by narrow-minded people who don't take the time to learn the facts---of BOTH sides of the case before making their opinions known.

Unfortunately, the narrow view of a few whose only excercise in life is jumping to conclusions lumps them all in the same category.
why I left

Gardena, CA

#33 Sep 18, 2009
What Facts Dan wrote:
<quoted text>
Wow Dan. You make some strong inferences based on "your mind" alone and completely absent of any "facts" (although you wrongly call it that) and then call Rev Turner's comments "seem untruthful". Very sad. very sad indeed. Especially if you ever met or knew Rev Turner.
Dan, what flavor would you like your cool aid to be ?
formerly really

San Pedro, CA

#34 Sep 18, 2009
One of the Faithful wrote:
For those of you who don't know any of these people, you are only judging by one piece of one side. There is the Plaintiff side, The Defendant's side, and somewhere in the MIDDLE is the truth. I know all of the individuals referenced--some better than others--, yet I still don't know the whole story. It behooves me for those of you all to sit in judgement of one person, and paint a wide brush stroke that every Christian is like that ONE person who makes poor choices. It's akin to me saying all men are like Jeffrey Dahlmer because ONE person made a terrible choice.
Yes, Mike Maffe made a very poor choice. For whatever his reasons were--well intentioned, ill intentioned or otherwise, it was a terrible choice. The last time I looked, Mike never professed to be perfect and without any character flaws. Neither has Pastor Turner, Pastor Zac, or any of the individuals who go to Hope Chapel.
I can pretty well guarantee Mike Maffe did not hold a gun to the heads of the people who "invested" with him. They opted to...whether they were well informed or not, they voluntarily gave him the money to invest. That was THEIR choice. It was not considered "sanctioned" church activity. Nobody was asked to stand before the congregation and solicit donations. There was not an offering plate passed specifically for the purpose of adding to his "fund".
Is EVERY church affected by this one action? To a degree, yes. Unfortunately it does cast shadows on the entire Christian community, especially by narrow-minded people who don't take the time to learn the facts---of BOTH sides of the case before making their opinions known.
Unfortunately, the narrow view of a few whose only excercise in life is jumping to conclusions lumps them all in the same category.
Bernie Madoff never forced anyone to invest with him either. Do you think he shouldn't be in jail because he "made bad choices?" Do you think the Madoff investors who got ripped off don't deserve restitution? Why should this guy be any different because he is a pastor? If you ask me, that makes it worse because his position in the church is why theses people trusted him. He lied to them and stole their money. Prosecute him just like you would any other fraudulant investment counselor. No free rides because he's part of a church.
Hometown Fan

Long Beach, CA

#35 Sep 18, 2009
Where is the pastor's picture? You post pictures for other crimes....
rude poster

Long Beach, CA

#36 Sep 18, 2009
wilm citizen wrote:
Its unfortunate that these people are being so misguided. Every investment has a risk. I would like to refer all those involved to Joshua 1:8 "This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night that you may observe to do all that is written in it FOR THEN YOU SHALL PROSPER AND HAVE GOOD SUCCESS."
God is our source of prosperity - "lean not on the arm of flesh."
I implore those suing to please be careful, lawyers are slick, they promise they can do so much for you, but what they don't tell you is you also run the risk of losing your investment in them as it depends on either the other party settling this out of court or left up to a panel of your peers or the judge. There is no guarantee you will win.
This was not a risky investment. It was a phony investment. Read the article. I know it hurts you to see your beloved pastor in hot water, but he blew the money, and not on the apartment building he said he was buying.
One of the Faithful

Santa Maria, CA

#37 Sep 18, 2009
I never said Mike should not be held accountable for his actions. However...for those who think that ALL Christians and ALL churches are crooks, ALL are brainwashed, etc...THOSE are the narrowminded people.

I never said that Mike deserves a free ride. A crime WAS committed. But... it needs to be brought to light that those who "invested" knew they were giving their money to a pastor, not a financier.

Common sense would dictate that you would not submit yourself to plastic surgery done by a Mechanic, or ask a baker to replace the timing belt on my car.

The bottom line... The only people who truly know what happened are the ones involved. Not the media, the press, the bystanders, the naysayers, the doomsdayers or kool aid drinkers.

Get the FACTS...all the FACTS before you lump EVERYBODY into the same category.
Hometown Fan

Long Beach, CA

#38 Sep 18, 2009
Hometown Fan wrote:
Where is the pastor's picture? You post pictures for other crimes....
...Check out the story posted the same day regarding the liquor store robberies.

Two different Beach City crimes - unfortunately one is evangelical Christian (and posted without pictures)....
donn

Hicksville, NY

#39 Sep 18, 2009
I'm sure the catholic church wanted to handle the pedophile problem in a "biblical way" by hushing it up. You can see how well that turned out. This is what happens when the teachings of Christ become corrupted by religious leaders running "churches" as their own personal atm machines. Christians please do not check your brains at the door of your church.
rude poster

Long Beach, CA

#40 Sep 18, 2009
'One of the faithful' said: "I can pretty well guarantee Mike Maffe did not hold a gun to the heads of the people who "invested" with him. They opted to...whether they were well informed or not, they voluntarily gave him the money to invest. That was THEIR choice. It was not considered "sanctioned" church activity. Nobody was asked to stand before the congregation and solicit donations. There was not an offering plate passed specifically for the purpose of adding to his "fund". SIR, PLEASE! Read my comment above. This Maffe guy took money and never invested it like he said he was going to. He stole, lied and cheated, then asked the victims to, what, be good christians and just forgive being ripped off? Even in court is says "In God We Trust". It is not satanic to recover stolen funds in court. Its more christian than pulling a gun on the thief and demanding your money back in 'street justice' fashion.
Juniper

Arcadia, CA

#41 Sep 18, 2009
One of the Faithful wrote:
I never said Mike should not be held accountable for his actions. However...for those who think that ALL Christians and ALL churches are crooks, ALL are brainwashed, etc...THOSE are the narrowminded people.
I never said that Mike deserves a free ride. A crime WAS committed. But... it needs to be brought to light that those who "invested" knew they were giving their money to a pastor, not a financier.
Common sense would dictate that you would not submit yourself to plastic surgery done by a Mechanic, or ask a baker to replace the timing belt on my car.
The bottom line... The only people who truly know what happened are the ones involved. Not the media, the press, the bystanders, the naysayers, the doomsdayers or kool aid drinkers.
Get the FACTS...all the FACTS before you lump EVERYBODY into the same category.
The problem is that people who are in a postition of "spiritual authority" over others often pretend to be experts in areas where they have no training, and because they are a "spiritual authority," they appear honest and trustworthy. Although it is foolhardy to trust somebody who is not a professional with your money (and, judging our current issue with Wall Street, even professionals are not always trustworthy), this is particularly bad because Maffe used the power of the pulpit to make himself appear honest. Do you honestly think the investors would have been so quick to sign a deal with somebody who wasn't a pastor? They would have paid more attention. Maffe probably counted on his "honest" reputation as a church leader to smooth over the bumps in this deal, and he knew that the church would try to intervene and settle this out of court if he got caught, because this isn't the first time this has happened.
Juniper

Arcadia, CA

#42 Sep 18, 2009
I would also like to add that back in 1999, Hope Chapel hosted a seminar touting the imminent threat of Y2K, which was led by then-pastor Maffe, where he proceeded to tell the congregants that disaster was imminent, and then sold them a bunch of survival gear. My parents still have 50-gallon water drums in their garage because of this. As far as I know, the church never apologized for scaring people out of their wits so that they would buy stuff from Maffe. I will, however, clarify that I do not know if Maffe received any monies from these sales, or if he was acting as a liason for another company.
get the facts

Redondo Beach, CA

#43 Sep 18, 2009
Juniper wrote:
I went to this church for over 20 years and I am not surprised at any of this. It is sad to me how people who profess to be Christians can act in a deceitful and damaging way, and then expect to use the Bible as a way to avoid responsibility. Maffe should be held legally accountable.
he was fired when this came to light...get all the facts..and if you are a Christian, you should know what the Bible sais about reconciliation. The whole Bible is a Book about reconciliation. God to us, and us to others.
I also attended this church when i lived in the area, and as i said earlier...this church has done more to help others in China, Africa building water wells, they serve in Vietnam, Cambodia, South America and Mexico on a regular basis...building homes, etc. and the list goes on and on...they serve the poor and the needy in the South Bay. One bad apple does not mean the whole bunch is bad. If you are a believer in the Bible...we will all make account one day for every word we speak. Yes, Mike deserves to be disciplined...he was and wanted to pay back his mistake, but it wasn't happening soon enough for these few people. The Church did not hide his actions, he was let go and the entire congregation was told of his mis -deeds...this man has 5 young children...
the church wanted to help reconcile the family as a whole, which is much more important than dollars...at least in God's eyes.
let him without sin cast the first stone.
get the facts

Redondo Beach, CA

#44 Sep 18, 2009
Juniper wrote:
I would also like to add that back in 1999, Hope Chapel hosted a seminar touting the imminent threat of Y2K, which was led by then-pastor Maffe, where he proceeded to tell the congregants that disaster was imminent, and then sold them a bunch of survival gear. My parents still have 50-gallon water drums in their garage because of this. As far as I know, the church never apologized for scaring people out of their wits so that they would buy stuff from Maffe. I will, however, clarify that I do not know if Maffe received any monies from these sales, or if he was acting as a liason for another company.
everyone was unsure of what was to happen with Y2K...i was also at Hope then. i even moved my water and survival kit here where i live now, in case of an earthquake. It never hurts to be prepared.
get the facts

Redondo Beach, CA

#45 Sep 18, 2009
Kris wrote:
This really is a shame. It's too bad that one man could do so much damage to a great church. I do not attend Hope, but my son's do. Hope Chapel is an fabulous church and I pray this doesn't affect there amazing work.
attending this church years ago myself, i agree wholeheartedly....

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