March 3, 1998: Witness Says Deters Money a “Covenant,” not an “Investment”

Update by Chuck Fager

Wichita, Kansas — Randy Littlefield remains a true believer in Priscilla Deters’ honesty and character. He is also convinced that she has been persecuted by the authorities who now have her on trial.

With that background, his testimony in her trial could have been expected to be contentious, especially on cross-examination.

It was. The former pastor of the Cherokee Friends Church in Cherokee, Oklahoma, Littlefield sparred with prosecutors over almost every point of his statements regarding the fate of $475,000 sent to Deters’ company from Cherokee.

Continue reading March 3, 1998: Witness Says Deters Money a “Covenant,” not an “Investment”

March 2, 1998: First Defense Witnesses Roughed Up by Prosecutors in Productions Plus Trial

Update by Chuck Fager

Wichita, Kansas — Federal prosecutors aggressively questioned the first two defense witnesses in the Priscilla Deters-Productions Plus trial Monday.

Dominick Pepe, who was Deters’ banker in 1989-1990, was the first defense witness. He acknowledged giving favorable evaluations of Deters’ business to potential investors who called him as a reference. One of these inquirers was Maurice Roberts, former Superintendent of Mid-America Yearly Meeting of Friends.

Continue reading March 2, 1998: First Defense Witnesses Roughed Up by Prosecutors in Productions Plus Trial

February 27, 1998: Wegner, Other Nazarene Churchmen Detail Frauds

Update by Chuck Fager

Wichita, Kansas – In the fourth day of the Priscilla Deters-Productions Plus church fraud trial, R.J. Wegner, Superintendent of North and South Dakota Nazarene churches, described in detail how he raised $628,000 for deposit in a fundraising scheme that was supposed to double the money with no risk, but in fact cost the churches and investors over $500,000 in losses.

Continue reading February 27, 1998: Wegner, Other Nazarene Churchmen Detail Frauds

February 26, 1998: Ex-Quaker Superintendent In Kansas Fraud Trial

by Chuck Fager

Wichita, Kansas – Maurice Roberts, the former Superintendent of Mid-America Yearly Meeting, testified for several hours Thursday as a key witness in a major church fraud trial here.  Priscilla Deters, 63, of Walnut, California is being tried on 13 charges of wire and mail fraud in U.S. District Court. The charges are in connection with a “Ponzi” scheme which prosecutors say collected over $6 million from churches and church members in twenty-one states.

Continue reading February 26, 1998: Ex-Quaker Superintendent In Kansas Fraud Trial

We can learn from others

 I need a blog like I need a hole in the head.

But it’s clear that these days, it’s an increasingly important way of getting one’s views and convictions into the broader public discussion and debate.  And before it is too late, there are some things I’d like to get into circulation.  My overriding concern now is the mad course down which my country’s rulers are headed, and what faith groups can do about it.   My perspective is “sectarian,” rooted in the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers.)  As the saying goes, I’m proud to be a humble Quaker.  But my sense is that people from other faith groups, or none, can learn things from our experience and discussions — and we can learn from others. So let’s do it.

 

Stranger than Fiction: The Cast of Productions Plus

Dear Friends,

In the Productions Plus/Priscilla Deters case, the cast of characters covers a range that would strain a novelist’s imagination. Consider these few:

The President’s Chaplain. If anyone deserves the melancholy credit for turning Priscilla Deters loose on Friends, it is unmistakably T. Eugene Coffin. Coffin was once pastor of the East Whittier Friends Church where Richard Nixon was a member. He preached several times at Nixon’s White House worship services. When East Whittier received minutes from more than 200 Friends meetings asking for Nixon’s disownment over Vietnam and Watergate, it was Coffin who explained that they were not going to do any such thing. (Coffin is now suffering from Alzheimers, and unable to respond to interview requests.)

Continue reading Stranger than Fiction: The Cast of Productions Plus

Cherokee Quaker Church Fraud

Church Money Used for “Ponzi” Fraud Scheme–Kansas Investigator

Update by Chuck Fager

Wichita, Kansas – Maurice Roberts, the former Superintendent of Mid-America Yearly Meeting, testified for several hours Thursday as a key witness in a major church fraud trial here.  Priscilla Deters, 63, of Walnut, California is being tried on 13 charges of wire and mail fraud in U.S. District Court. The charges are in connection with a “Ponzi” scheme which prosecutors say collected over $6 million from churches and church members in twenty-one states.

Continue reading Cherokee Quaker Church Fraud