ALABAMA SECURITIES COMMISSION

770 WASHINGTON AVE, SUITE 570

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA 36130-4700

 

Telephone: (334) 242-2984 or 1-800-222-1253. Fax: (334) 242-0240

Email:  asc@asc.state.al.us.  Website:  www.asc.state.al.us

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA (September 11, 2003) - Honorable Randall Houston, District Attorney for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, Honorable Joseph P. Borg, Director of the Alabama Securities Commission and Prattville Police Chief Alfred W. Wadsworth announce today that

Nancilu Carpenter, Donald Cayton, Leonard Miller, William Till, Elaine Jenkins Turner and David Wayne Gordan were sentenced by the Honorable Ben Fuller, Circuit Judge for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, as a result of charges surrounding financial activities involving the proposed expansion of the former Daystar Assembly of God located in Prattville, Alabama. 

 

The following is a list of the defendants, the charges they pled guilty to or were found guilty of, and the sentence each received:           

 

1.      Nancilu Carpenter previously pled guilty to one count of theft of property in the first degree.  She received 5 years split sentence and will serve 1 year in the Autauga County Jail, was ordered to pay $31,800 in restitution to victims, $500 to the Alabama Crime Victims Compensation fund, fined $7,500 and must pay court costs.     

 

2.      Donald Cayton pled guilty to one count of theft of property in the first degree.

He received 10 years split sentence and will serve 90 days in the Autauga County Jail with probation of 5 years, was ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution to victims and $1,000 to the Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Fund, fined $10,000 and must pay court costs.  Cayton’s reduced sentence was the result of his cooperation with law enforcement.

 

3.      Leonard Miller pled guilty to one count of theft of property in the first degree.  He received 8 years split sentence and will serve 1 year in the State Department of Corrections, was ordered to pay $111,699.98 in restitution to victims and $1,000 to the Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Fund, fined $10,000 and must pay court costs.

 

4.      William Till pled guilty to one count of theft of property in the third degree.  His offense was a Class A Misdemeanor and he was noted for assisting authorities in this case.  He received a 1 year suspended sentence with 2 years of supervised probation, ordered to pay restitution to victims of $54,000 at a rate of $250 per month and $100 to the Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Fund, fined $1,000 and must pay court costs. 

 

5.   Elaine Jenkins Turner pled guilty to two counts of theft of property in the first degree.      

      She received a 20 year split sentence and will serve 4 years with the State Department of       Corrections, ordered to pay $200,000 in restitution to victims and $1,000 for each count

      to the Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Fund, fined $10,000 for each count and

      must pay court costs.  

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6.  David Wayne Gordan was found guilty by an Autauga County jury of 14 counts, (3) for the sale of securities by an unregistered agent, (2) for the sale of unregistered securities, (3) for securities fraud and (6) for the theft of property.  With a split sentence serving concurrent for each count he will serve a total of 2 years and 2 days in the State Department of Corrections, restitution to victims will be determined at a restitution hearing at a later date, a total of $6,250 to be paid to the Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Fund, was fined a total of $8,500 and must pay court costs. 

 

Kelly Vickers is the only person left to be sentenced in the original Daystar case.  He pled guilty to one count of theft of property in the third degree and will be sentenced at another hearing. 

 

Randall Houston, District Attorney for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, said, “The team work effort of the Autauga County, Prattville, and Alabama Securities Commission authorities in this case was unprecedented and was very effective in support of  the conviction of people who took money from trusting citizens of our community.” 

 

Joseph Borg, Director of the Alabama Securities Commission, said “This case clearly shows the power of cooperation and communication among state legal authorities.  It is regretful that the Daystar Church members lost their place of worship due to the crimes committed by these defendants.  This outcome clearly demonstrates that legal authorities in Alabama will continually work together to aggressively prosecute white collar crime.” 

 

In February 2003, Mark Steven Cooper, pled guilty to 1 count of Sale of Securities by an Unregistered Agent; 1 count of Sale of Unregistered Securities; 1 count of Securities Fraud; 7 counts of Theft of Property I.  Cooper was sentenced to 31 years in the penitentiary, fined $35,000 and ordered to pay court costs, $10,000 to the Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Fund, and restitution of $2,529,262.87.

 

April Sunday Rutledge Cooper was sentenced at a hearing held on April 4, 2003 to charges surrounding financial activities involving the proposed expansion of the Daystar Assembly of God.  Mrs. Cooper pled guilty to 1 count of Theft of Property I in February.  She was sentenced to the custody of the Department of Corrections for a period of 10 years, fined the sum of $10,000, ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $117,330 to the Daystar Church and MIT Lending, and ordered to pay $1,000 to the Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Fund.   

 

The Alabama Securities Commission Enforcement Division opened its investigation in the Daystar matter in July, 2001.  The investigation revealed the alleged misappropriation of funds raised by Daystar Assembly of God Church in the sale of certificates of deposit and loans proceeds for development of the church by Mark Stephen Cooper, Elaine Jenkins Turner, Donald Cayton, Leonard Miller, William Till, April Sunday Rutledge Cooper and Kelly Vickers.  The investigation further showed alleged fraud perpetrated by these individuals as well as Nancilu

Carpenter against local banks and lending institutions.  Finally, the investigation revealed alleged violations of the Alabama Securities Act and Theft of Property in the 1st Degree from the sale of promissory notes of a company called Qtrex by Elaine Turner and David Wayne Gordon.  Total loss from all of these alleged acts is approximately $3 million dollars. 

 

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The Director of the Alabama Securities Commission (ASC) cautions potential investors to thoroughly check out any investment opportunity.  Contact ASC for inquiries regarding securities broker-dealers, agents, investment advisors, investment advisor representatives, financial planners, the registration status of securities, to report suspected fraud, or obtain consumer information: 

 

ALABAMA SECURITIES COMMISSION

770 WASHINGTON AVE, SUITE 570

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA 36130-4700

 

Telephone: (334) 242-2984 or 1-800-222-1253. Fax: (334) 242-0240

Email:  asc@asc.state.al.us.  Website:  www.asc.state.al.us

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If you have questions or require more information contact:

 

Daniel G. Lord

Education and Public Affairs Manager