American Greed: Season 2

Preying on Faith Evidence Files


The Sin

Pastor Abraham Kennard preaches the word of the Lord and scams small African-American churches out of more than $9 million. Kennard convinces them to contribute to his fraudulent investment company, Network International Investment Corporation. (Source: US Attorney's Office, Northern District of Georgia)

The Faith

Pastor Donald Downing wants to build a new church for his Maryland ministry. He invests $9,000 in Network International Investment Corporation, and Kennard promises him that in 90 days, he will get a return of $1.5 million. Excited about this investment, Downing tells all of his colleagues. In the end, Downing lost this money and his friends. (Source: Kurtis Productions)

The Word Spreads

Pastor William Toney scrapes together $3,000 and is promised he will receive $500,000. Kennard encourages him to recruit other churches to join and in turn he will receive $500 for each church that joins. (Source: Kurtis Productions)

The Fall

Although Abraham Kennard appears to present hundreds of thousands of dollars to his investors, the oversized checks are just for show, and Kennard pays out just a fraction of what he promised. In June 2002, Kennard announces to all of the church investors that they will not receive their returns. (Source: US Attorney's Office, Northern District of Georgia)

The Faith is Gone

In July of 2002, FBI Agent Tim Coakley receives calls from numerous churches about the Network International Investment Corporation. Coakley begins investigating Abraham Kennard and finds there is no proof of wealthy investors backing the program. (Source: Kurtis Productions)

Lavish Life

Prosecutor David McClernan says Kennard used proceeds from his scheme to fund a lavish lifestyle including traveling in limousines, 23 vehicles and property in Georgia. (Source: Kurtis Productions)

It's Over

On February 24, 2004, the FBI SWAT team and the Tupelo Police Department arrest Abraham Kennard in Okolona, Mississippi. The following year, Kennard is convicted of 116 counts including mail fraud, money laundering and income tax invasion. Kennard is currently serving 17 years in federal prison and has been ordered to pay nearly $8 million in restitution. (Source: The Rome News-Tribune)