Church Members Sue Eddie Long over 'Ponzi Scheme'

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Ten members of Bishop Eddie Long's New Birth Missionary Baptist Church have filed suit, claiming their pastor showed negligence and conspired to mislead them with a financial scheme.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, claimed Long convinced many of his congregants to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into initiatives run by North Carolina businessman Ephren Taylor, Jr.

Long is said to have promised a safe investment and guaranteed a return.

"I am responsible for everyone I bring before you and what they say," Long said, according to the lawsuit. "The gentleman that I am going to bring before you is an ordained minister. That gives me great pride to bring him for you."

Taylor did several presentations at Long's Lithonia, Ga., megachurch.

In the end, however, the plaintiffs said they lost more than $1 million between them by falling into what they called a "ponzi scheme."

Attorneys added that Taylor's businesses at the time, City Capital Corporation and Clean Sweep Holdings Group, weren't licensed to sell investments or give investment advice in Georgia, and were financially unstable.

It's unclear if Long knew of Taylor's money trouble before his seminars at the church. Both the men are listed as defendants.

In February, Long implied in a YouTube video that he found out about the bad investments and asked Taylor to return peoples' money.

"Join with me in making an appeal to Ephren Taylor and City Capital that they would return as soon as possible the funds and -- with interest preferably -- to those who have invested in good faith," Long said.

Sex Scandal Lawsuit Update

Meanwhile, Long's lawyers say they plan to seek $1 million back from the settlement reached earlier this year between four men accusing the pastor of sexual misconduct.

It was never disclosed how much money the men received as a result of the May settlement. However, the resolution included a stipulation that the young men keep the case and its details confidential.

But shortly after, Jamal Parris and Spencer LeGrande spoke to local news reporters, promising to let the truth out and even said they planned to write a book about the ordeal.

Long's lawyers sent a letter to the men late last month.

Because Parris and LeGrande spoke about the case, their attorneys now refuse to represent them.

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