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Investors accuse Bishop Eddie Long's megachurch of fraud conspiracy

Long has called for a national ban on same-sex marriage and his church counsels gay members to become straight. In 2004, he led a march with Bernice King to her father's Atlanta grave to support a national constitutional amendment to protect marriage "between one man and one woman." He also has released several gospel albums, authored books on relationships and spirituality, and hosts a weekly television program. CBS/The Early Show

Bishop Eddie Long faced fifth accuser, says report
Bishop Eddie Long
CBS/The Early Show

(CBS/WGCL/AP) LITHONIA, Ga. - Embattled megachurch pastor Bishop Eddie Long is facing more legal troubles. Ten former members of Long's New Birth Missionary Baptist Church who attended investment seminars hosted by the church say they lost their retirement savings, and they're suing the pastor and New Birth for conspiring to defraud them.

Pictures: Bishop Eddie LongPictures: Saved? Religious leaders in trouble

The ex-members say Long used his power as a pastor to get them to invest in the financially troubled City Capital Corp., reports CBS affiliate WGCL.

The plaintiffs said in a lawsuit that in 2009,  Long invited Ephren Taylor, then CEO of the company, to speak at New Birth, and that Taylor told members how they could get rich. Instead, the plaintiffs said they lost all of their money.

U.S. Secret Service spokesman Mark Ritchie says agents have seized laptops from employees at New Birth in Lithonia, Ga.

One church member, Lillian Wells, says she lost $122,000, her entire life savings.

"[Taylor] knew what he was doing and it was one more plot to get money from us," Wells told WGCL.

New Birth's spokesman Art Franklin declined to comment.

Long has previously been accused of luring young men into sexual relationships when they were enrolled in New Birth's ministry for teen boys. He reached an out-of-court settlement with four accusers.

Complete coverage of Bishop Eddie Long on Crimesider

  • Camille Mann

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