A preacher has been convicted of stealing nearly $9m (¬7.2m) from 1,600 black churches across the US by promising them big returns on small investments.
Abraham Kennard was found guilty in Rome, Georgia, of 116 counts of fraud and theft.
Prosecutors said he ran a pyramid scheme that took advantage of the tight network of black preachers to which he belonged.
"I know you can see clearly it was a scheme, all right. And for some 1,600 churches, it was a nightmare," prosecutor David McClernan said.
Kennard, 46, claimed he was not guilty of anything.
"It's not a law against riding in a Cadillac if you don't want to ride in a Volkswagen," Kennard, who represented himself, said in his opening remarks.
He faces a lengthy prison term when he is sentenced on April 15.
Prosecutors said Kennard claimed his company was developing Christian resorts around the country.
He told preachers that for a fee of a few thousand dollars, their churches could be "members" of his company. In return, he promised that in time the churches would get a grant or a forgivable loan of more than $463,000 (¬363,000).