Heads of Greater Ministries International Church Indicted on Charges of Money Laundering and Mail Fraud

You give a gift, we basically take it offshore — and we've been doing this for nine years, nobody's ever lost a dime — and we multiply it back through the body of Christ. ... We don't promise you nothing. We just say nobody's lost a dime in nine years, and we double everything.”

— Brother Patrick Henry Talbert

If asked to describe extremist criminals, most people would picture camouflaged haters wielding automatic rifles and pipe bombs. In fact, many extremists have perfected an entirely different sort of crime: the big scam that targets people's life savings rather than their lives. Although numerous extremist frauds emerged in the 1990's, none were larger, more colorful or more damaging than the massive pyramid investment scheme concocted by a Tampa, Florida-based organization called Greater Ministries International. For years, GMI raked in millions while defiantly thumbing its nose at regulators who tried to shut it down. Its criminal activities may finally have been halted, but most victims will never see their money again.