Ephren Taylor II could have been the much needed entrepreneurial role model in the black community. He called himself the youngest-ever black CEO and his business, City Capital Corporation, was founded to supposedly assist charities and businesses in poor communities. Turns out, Taylor’s business wasn’t quite as giving as it appeared. CNN Money reports that the Securities and Exchange Commission is charging Taylor with running a Ponzi scheme, alleging he swindled more than $11 million from investors from 2008 to 2010.
“Ephren Taylor professed to be in the business of socially-conscious investing,” CNN Money reports David Woodcock, the director of the SEC’s Fort Worth regional office, said in a statement.
“Instead, he was in the business of promoting Ephren Taylor…He preyed upon investors’ faith and their desire to help others, convincing them that they could earn healthy returns while also helping their communities.”
Taylor proclaiming he’d been able to earn his first million while running a software company in high school. He had been featured on CNN, CNBC, Fox News and NPR, offering his take on running a successful business. He used the money from City Capital Corporation to fund his lavish lifestyle, promote his three books, travel on a speaking tour and promote his wife’s singing career.
“People have lost their homes, people have become estranged from their families,” Cathy Lergman, a lawyer for City Capital Corporation’s investors said. “He devastated a lot of people, and he targeted his own — he targeted African-American Christians, and those people have suffered greatly from being affiliated with Ephren Taylor.”
Wendy Connor, the former chief operating officer of Taylor City Capital Corporation is also facing charges. As of yet it is uncertain whether Taylor has legal representation. His spokeswoman disclosed that she no longer represented him.
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