US pastor fails to thread the golden needle « Mining Blog

US pastor fails to thread the golden needle

26. April 2012,

Now here’s an intriguing tale…

Pittsburgh-based American Capital Holdings LLC, established in 2005, describes itself as “a boutique hard money lender for commercial Real Estate”, as well as “a correspondent lender for multi-family transactions nationwide”.

One such transaction involved making funds available to the Massachussetts-based Dominion Christian Church in late 2011 and early 2012 which, says the firm, was to be invested in gold assets in Uganda [Boston Business Journal, 25 April 2012].

American Capital Holdings claims that the church’s pastor, Alexander Hurt, had assured it the money was “safe” because “Uganda [is] one of the most stable countries in Africa”.

However, in January 2012, “Hurt became difficult to locate”, leading the firm to declare the church in default of the investment agreement, and to initiate a US$232,000-plus-damages law suit against the church.

According to the suit, Hurt sent American Capital an email on February 25 2012, stating: “You and I are in the same boat. We are not thieves. We have been trying to do deals to get people their money back and get out of the mess that we are in … That’s why I went to Africa where I lost all the gold, all the money and nearly lost my life …

“I had made more than enough money to replace the fund(s) that belonged to my church that I lost with you … Greed and my desire to assist you cost me dearly. I have lost everything” [Boston Business Journal, ibid].

The fact that an American church makes a “gold play” in an African state, still riven by conflict (and the depredations of the ‘Lord’s Resistance Army’) and ends up losing all its investment, may prove something of a modern parable.

And no doubt there’s more to this story than immediately meets the eye – if not “the eye of the needle” *

* “I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” – Gospel of St Matthew Chapter 9, verses:23-24

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