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Saturday, November 22 2008 @ 06:54 AM CST

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Pastor fails to repay loans

Ex-altar boy claims abuse in Detroit archdiocese

(Brought to you by Family Values R Us - a trademark of Je$u$, Inc.)

DETROIT - Another former altar boy has filed a lawsuit claiming the Archdiocese of Detroit failed to stop sexual misconduct by a former priest.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal court in Ohio by James Schultz, a former resident of Oakland County's White Lake Township, against the Rev. Timothy Szott and the archdiocese. Szott died in August in Arizona.

Archdiocese spokesman Ned McGrath said the archdiocese was aware of the lawsuit.

The Detroit News reports Schultz, now 40, claims some molestation occurred during a trip to Ohio.

Vincent Venturini earlier sued. The newspaper says that case was settled for $725,000.

Szott was sentenced to 18 months' probation in 2003 after pleading no contest to possession of child pornography, and was permanently removed from ministry in 2005.


Information from: The Detroit News, http://www.detnews.com


Pastor fails to repay loans from church members


SEATTLE - Pastor Tony Morris is known as a man of God.

“He was a dynamic speaker, seemed to preach the word of God, he seemed to have a real solid message,” said Emery Tungsvick.

It was a message that brought thousands to his South Seattle New Convenant Christian Center.

“It's amazing how many people have been touched by him,” said Javon Guiberteaux.

But if Pastor Morris' asks you for a loan, some people say that's when you'll surely need god's help.

Our investigation reveals that Pastor Morris owes hundreds of thousands of dollars to people all over the country.

The bottom line: He took loans on some, promised big returns, and never repaid them.

Pastor Morris is living in a million-dollar, 7,700-square-foot mansion in Renton. He and his wife drive luxury sedans and SUVs.

But when it comes to answering questions about how he paid for those things, Pastor Morris won't talk.

“Who do you trust if you can't trust a man of God?” said Willie Turner.

Turner was a member of New Covenant Christian Center. In 2005, Pastor Morris asked a favor of the restaurant owner. He needed a short term loan of 10,000.

“He kept promising to pay me in 30 days. In 30 days he didn't pay me so he kept shining me on and shining me on,” said Turner.

Turner has not been repaid, and neither has Joanne Ryser. In 2005 she loaned the pastor $50,000. It was supposed to be a short term loan.

“We only gave him $20,000 to begin with and then the next weeks he asked for the other $30,000 and we trusted him,” said Ryser.

But when it came to repayment, the pastor put the Rysers off for a year. He put up property as collateral. But there was a problem.

“I called a title company..and did some title research and realized when we did the promissary note with him..his name or the churches name wasn't even on the property anymore,” said Ryser.

The Rysers took Pastor Morris to court and won a $79,000 judgment. So far they've only gotten $4,000 back.

“This has been going on for a year. Every week there's another excuse,” said Brian Heflin.

Heflin, of Pasadena, Calif., says he met Pastor Morris through another "so-called" investor. Heflin loaned Morris $17,000 and when Heflin asked for his money back?

“He”s sent me two different checks, both of them bounced,” said Heflin.

“We thought this is a man you can trust, so we did,” said Emery Tungsvick.

Emery Tungsvick is a former church member who was part of an investment group that made a $120,000 loan to Morris, who wrote a check to repay it.

“We deposited the money, we paid out our investors, but the bank forgot to verify funds so the check bounced,” he said. “So now we were out the money we paid out, the money in our account was gone, and we were in default with the bank.”

Since Morris put the Covenant Church up as collateral, that became the payment to Tungsvick and the rest of the investors.

Pastor Morris tried to fight it, but lost the church.

“There’s probably a lot of people who have ill feelings about us. We're the bad guys. We brought down the church,” said Tungsvick. “The reality is that's not what happened. It was his own dealings that messed him up.”

Court documents also reveal that just two weeks ago, another former church member named Kirk Russell won a $200,000 judgment against the pastor. He loaned Morris $112,000 and received just $1,000 in return.

Pastor Morris didn't answer the door at his mansion. He has moved his church to Renton High School, where we tried to interview him.

The pastor won't tell us or anyone else if they have a prayer of getting any of their money back.

“I’d like for him to be stopped. I'd like for him to go to jail,” said Brian Heflin.


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