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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Thomas L. Kimmel Sentenced For Conspiracy, Mail Fraud, And Money Laundering

RALEIGH – United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that today in federal court, Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever III sentenced Thomas L. Kimmel, 68, to 264 months imprisonment followed by 3 years of supervised release. Kimmel was ordered to pay over $16.5 million in restitution.  On June 26, 2014 KIMMEL was convicted by a jury trial of Conspiracy, Mail Fraud, and Money Laundering.

KIMMEL was named in an Indictment filed on August 21, 2013. Assistant United States Attorney David A. Bragdon stated, “Kimmel used his professed spirituality and position of trust as a tool to defraud victims at their churches-the very places they felt the most safe.  From day one, Kimmel told lies to maximize his commissions.  He used trust and faith to defraud hundreds of victims, many of whom invested their life’s savings.” 

At trial, the Government presented evidence that KIMMEL solicited about $20 million for Sure Line Acceptance Corporation from investors.  Most of these investors found out about Sure Line through financial conferences that KIMMEL gave at churchesrelating to Biblical principles of finance and getting out of debt.  Most of the victims never received any of their principal back.  KIMMEL would typically spend a few minutes of each conference telling investors about a 12% collateralized note program.  Many of these presentations were recorded, and the Government presented evidence that Kimmel’s statements about Sure Line were false and that the collateralized note program was a Ponzi scheme.  The jury heard testimony from three conspirators who had previously pled guilty to Conspiracy and Sale of Unregistered Securities; James Willis Kirk, Jr., Glen E. Smith, Jr., and Carol April Graff.  The jury also heard testimony from about fifteen victims.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorneys David A. Bragdon and Evan Rikhye prosecuted the case.

Updated July 14, 2015