Va. Religious TV Station Owner Accused of Defrauding Investors

December 20, 2010

The owner of a Virginia-based religious broadcasting company and another man are accused of defrauding more than 80 investors of nearly $550,000.

Federal prosecutors say 57-year-old Samuel B. Jacobs of Hampton and 28-year-old Christopher Rice of Suffolk made their initial appearance Friday in U.S. District Court in Norfolk. They were charged this month in a 20-count indictment alleging mail fraud, money laundering and related counts.

The indictment says the money was spent on personal and business expenses without the investors being told, including payments made on Jacobs' house and 36-foot boat. Many of those defrauded were members of church groups.

Jacobs' lawyer, Nathaniel Webb, says most of the investors have
agreements with Jacobs to be repaid. Jacobs is owner of WJHJ.

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