Former Conway Pastor Sentenced
Contact Person: Bill Day(803) 929-3000
Columbia, South Carolina -----United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Archie Larue Evans was sentenced late yesterday afternoon in federal court in Florence, South Carolina, for Mail Fraud, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341, and conspiracy to Structure Transactions with a Financial Institution and to Launder Money, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. United States District Judge R. Bryan Harwell of Florence sentenced Evans to seven years imprisonment; three years supervised release and ordered Evans to pay restitution of $3,763,339.53.
Evidence presented at the sentencing hearing established that Evans was the pastor of Tilley Swamp Baptist Church located in Conway, South Carolina. Evans also owned a limited liability corporation, Gold & Silver, LLC. Beginning in 2004, members of the congregation of the Tilley Swamp Baptist Church and others entered into investment contracts with Evans and Gold & Silver, LLC, which guaranteed the investors much higher interest payments than the rate being paid by financial institutions. From January 2009 to October 2011, Evans was involved in a Ponzi scheme and hid the fact that he had lost or spent the money invested with him by paying investors what he claimed to be their earned interest payments using funds he received from new investors. Evans continued to collect money from investors and caused losses of more than $2,500,000.00.
From May 2010 until October 2011, Evans was also involved in a conspiracy with others to structure currency deposits with Anderson Brothers Bank and First Citizens Bank, both in Conway. The deposits were structured in order to avoid the bank’s reporting requirements so that Evans’ conspirators’ income would not be reported. One of the individuals involved with Evans in structuring the deposits was involved in a lawsuit with an insurance company that had issued a bond on the individual’s business. The individual had pledged his investments with Evans as collateral and was attempting to hide assets from the insurance company. Evans opened three checking accounts with Anderson Brothers Bank and structured deposits in excess of $500,000.00 through the accounts. Evans structured approximately $340,000.00 into the accounts he had with First Citizens Bank.
Evans was taken into custody immediately after being sentenced because he attempted to bring a firearm to the sentencing hearing.
The case was investigated by agents of the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney William E. Day II of the Columbia office prosecuted the case.