On Friday, November 18, 2022, a North Carolina federal jury found Michael Mandel Baldwin guilty of securities fraud and wire fraud. Baldwin, a 53-year old Virginia-based pastor, was found to have fraudulently coaxed investors into giving him money for a purported Bible-themed amusement park called Miracle Mansion when he actually used a substantial portion of the money for himself.

Baldwin’s indictment alleged that he obtained $740,000 from investors but used significant portions of it on himself for personal expenses, such as travel, restaurants, and credit card payments.

He also told investors that he had secured endorsements from prominent Christian companies, including Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-A, when he had not obtained any such endorsements. Executives from the companies testified at trial that they did not know Baldwin. 

One unnamed victim was the pastor of a church in Charlotte, North Carolina, who invested $60,000 from his retirement fund into Miracle Mansion and also collected $10,000 for the project from his employees. Other victims are located in Virginia, Arkansas, Florida, and Georgia.

Baldwin’s sentencing has not yet been scheduled.

The attorneys at Chilivis Grubman represent clients of all types and sizes in connection with fraud investigations and criminal proceedings. If you need assistance with such a matter, please contact us today.