“He was a trusted member of their church community, but the con artist in question used that trust to steal millions.
Parishioners, who were worried about their money asked their church pastor to look into an investment for them.
That’s when Dan Hoey’s investment scam involving fellow church-goers began to unravel.
“A lot of people trusted him,” says Tammy Mayle, a U.S. Postal Inspector. “They believed him. He lead a bible study. He pitched an investment opportunity to these same people at his church basically asking them for money.”
Friends and family gave their money to Hoey. More than 20 people put up $2 million to invest in Hoey’s company, Trilliant.
“People that work for large corporations had the opportunity through their company to obtain a mortgage with a discounted rate. Also $100 from the mortgage would go to the charity of their choice, which was very enticing for the people of the church,” says Mayle.
But there was a problem. Hoey was running a scam.
“He went on vacations. He purchased very expensive items including a $10,000 oven. These people from his church truly believed he used this money for investment purposes,” says Mayle.
Investors began asking questions. When they didn’t get answers, they went to their pastor.
“The pastor actually stepped in and created a church discipline team and counseled Hoey to try and get restitution to the individuals,” says Mayle.
Postal inspectors say Hoey was so convincing that some parishioners refused to believe he was running a scam.
“When I was interviewing them and said, “You are a victim of an investment scam,” they said, “He’s part of the church. We believe he took our money and he used it in his business, but his business failed,” ” says Mayle.
Postal inspectors say Hoey broke the law and had to be held accountable.
“We needed to convince victims, these investors, they were true victims, that it wasn’t a situation of a business gone bad. He stole their money,” says Mayle.
Dan Hoey pleaded guilty to mail and wire fraud. He will be sentenced in February.”