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Bible College and Christian publisher convicted of $35m fraud scheme

by Heather Preston

A Christian University, former Christian publisher and media company owner have been convicted of money laundering, fraud and conspiracy following a $35m scheme.

Former chief executive of Christian Media Corporation (CMC), William Anderson and Etienne Uzac, a former co-owner of IBT Media pleaded guilty to the charges at Manhattan Criminal Court earlier this month.

On Thursday Olivet University admitted to falsifying business records and engaging in conspiracy with the businessmen and was fined $1.25m.

The guilty pleas come after a 15-month investigation into a scheme to obtain millions in loans through false pretenses in ties to a controversial Korean American pastor, David Jang.

Jang's founded Olivet University, Christian Today headquartered in Korea, and Christian Daily in Korea and Los Angeles. He is also a member of the North American Council of the World Evangelical Alliance.

The Manhattan district attorney's office claimed that Olivet University and the media companies had been faking financial audits to secure $35m in loans to purchase $180,000 computer servers. 

Cheaper products were then obtained instead and the remaining funds used elsewhere.

Criminal charges were filed against Uzac and Anderson in October 2018 and each have paid $50,000 in fines despite the loans being paid back in full.

CMC's website has been taken offline and the company has now ceased operation.

Olivet's former board chair, Andrew Lin, pleaded guilty to defrauding charges in exchange for a non-jail sentence.

He resigned from his position at the college on 7th February and has been banned from leadership at the college for two years.

Sentencing is set to take place in April. 

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