asheville citizen times, c3 asheville, c3 church asheville, c3 movement, charged, christian city church asheville, christian city church movement, conspiracy, dean sweetman, Dimitris, hickson, keith vinson, liar, Nick Dimitris, pastor nick dimitris, Phil Pringle, Pringle, scandal, stephen hickson, Sweetman, vinson
Recently Dean Sweetman has been commenting on C3 Church Watch. He is the regional director and overseer of the C3 Churches in the Americas. Before reading the below newspaper articles, please familiarise yourself with the background of the scandal that C3 Pastor Nick Dimitris was involved in and how the C3 Church leadership reacted to him.
C3 Asheville Scandal – C3 Pastor Facing Prison (Part 1)
C3 Asheville Scandal – C3 Pastor “Pleads Guilty In Bank Fraud Case” (Part 2)
C3 Asheville Scandal – Sweetmans Do Nothing Against Fraudulent C3 Pastor? (Part 3)
C3 Asheville Scandal – Four “People… Have Pleaded Guilty” Including “[C3] Minister… Nicholas Dimitris” (Part 4)
Back in 2012, there was a “7 Days of Praise” conference from January 2nd-8th. On the 9th of January, the first article hit the paper about the bank fraud scandal Pastor Nick Dimitris was involved in.
This was when the church first found out about it. Nick Dimitris made the below comment the following Sunday,
“Hey I want to read a statement to you church and give you an update. Emily and I want to update you on some news about our family and the circumstances that has arisen. Over two years ago we purchased property from some folks who are currently under a federal investigation in pursuit for multiple proprieties. These individuals and the bank that provided the financing were allegedly involved in illegal behaviour.
Although we had no knowledge of their misbehaviour, we’ve been required to participate with the federal government in this case since we were the buyers. This has put us in a very difficult position and cooperation was not an option in the matter. Our testimony now is a very critical part of the case against these individuals.
You may have seen information about this in the media. And if so, please realise that the media is very good at misconstruing facts, which is misleading at best. Nevertheless, it sells papers. We cannot control what the media does or how they represent the circumstance. But let me assure you church, the facts of the matter have been given to our overseers and a team of leaders within the church. And they’re all standing with us in full support and have counselled us to work with the federal government in their process.
Although this is a challenge and a big challenge for us, we will get through it. And this circumstance will not affect the church operations as we move forward. Please pray and stand with us as we build the kingdom and move forward securing location and the future to make accommodations for growth as God builds his church.” – Nick Dimitris, C3 Asheville, 15/01/2012.
Nick Dimitris, on the 15h of January 2012, lied to church members. He claimed, “we had no knowledge of their misbehaviour”. He was heavily involved in the scandal and the courts have charged him guilty.
Fast forward to 2013 and people can see that the front page of the Asheville Citizen Times has the ring leader of the Asheville bank fraud conspiracy, Keith Vinson, in prison today and guilty of all charges.
We have been informed by reliable sources that Keith Vinson had multiple meetings with ‘Pastor’ Nick Dimitris in his office regarding all of these dodgy loans. This was also confirmed by staff and people that worked with Dimitris.
The above transcript records Nick Dimitris standing in front of C3 Asheville stating that all he did was buy real estate off people who were being investigated. He lied to the church as it was actually a conspiracy.
The transcript says that an oversight team was standing behind him. Stephen Hickson was the oversight for C3 Asheville. He stated plainly that Nick Dimitris should be removed. Dean Sweetman overrode Hicksons decision and Hickson resigned as oversight. The entire deal was a farce and one man (Dean Sweetman) had all the power. Oversight, board, staff, congregation all had zero power other than to leave or resign. In saying this, we would like Dean Sweetman to offer his side of the story.
Dean Sweetman, who visits this website, says he’s been waiting for the final outcome. With some of the things stated in the article below, Dean Sweetman should be very concerned in standing and defending Nick Dimitris. He hasn’t been sentenced yet but this article highlights the fact that all of the guys, including Nick, are guilty.
So what is Dean Sweetman going to do with ‘Pastor’ Nick Dimitris?
The Asheville Citizen Times reports,
Seven Falls’ Vinson guilty
Developer faces up to 30 years in prison
ASHEVILLE — A federal jury convicted failed Seven Falls developer Keith Vinson on Thursday in what prosecutors described as a illegal conspiracy involving millions of dollars intended to save his “beautiful dream.”
Vinson was found guilty on all charges contained in a 13-count indictment that alleged conspiracy to commit bank fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States, misapplication of bank funds, wire fraud and money laundering.
Some counts carry penalties of as much as 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
Vinson had been free on pretrial release but was jailed Thursday night to wait for sentencing, which will happen at a later date.
“When you risk the funds of federally insured banks through fraudulent loans and transactions, be prepared to pay the price,” U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins said in a statement. “Today’s outcome will finally bring some justice to those defrauded by Vinson.”
Seven Falls filed for bankruptcy in 2009. The development was planned to accommodate 900 homes and an Arnold Palmer-designed golf course on 1,400 acres, potentially adding $1.25 billion to Henderson County’s tax base.
Vinson had “straw borrowers” take out illegal loans to prop up the development in hopes of preventing foreclosure, Assistant U.S. Attorney Don Gast said in closing arguments to the jury Thursday.
“These were sham transactions,” Gast said in Vinson’s fraud trial in U.S. District Court. “He knew the banks couldn’t loan him any more money. He sent in straw borrowers to borrow on his behalf.
“Mr. Vinson and his co-conspirators turned this sad tale into a crime. This was a conspiracy and a fraud, and it was one that caused two banks to collapse, and that’s what causes taxpayers to have to eat those losses.”
Defense attorney Clark Fischer argued that the government’s case was based on “speculation and conjecture” as well as “guilt by association” with other defendants who pleaded guilty to the scheme.
Vinson didn’t know about or participate in obtaining the illegal loans used to buy lots in Seven Falls, Fischer said.
“The evidence is very clear that Keith Vinson made bad business decisions,” he said during closing arguments Thursday.
“He clearly bit off more than he could chew. Keith Vinson stands before you as a failed businessman, but he committed no crime.”
Jurors deliberated Thursday for more than four hours following eight days of testimony. The evidence included 26 witnesses and hundreds of documents.
Vinson declined to testify, and the defense elected not to put on any evidence. He showed little or no emotion as the judge read the jury’s verdict. Vinson did shake his head and appeared upset as the prosecution motioned to revoke his pretrial release.
Reporters were asked to leave the courtroom for about five minutes as specific details of his income were discussed and his cross-examination with Gast became testy at times.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Savage said Vinson began the venture with a $25 million bank loan to be repaid with money from the sale of lots. But Vinson ran out of money in 2008 when the economy tanked and the sales dried up.
The prosecutor said Vinson and his fellow conspirators came up with a “lot loan scheme” that involved straw borrowers buying lots with loans they didn’t intend to repay. Vinson was unable to borrow more money because of rules designed to limit banks’ exposure to any one borrower.
Gast cited the testimony of real estate investor and codefendant Avery Ted “Buck” Cashion III, who said he often talked with Vinson about the conspiracy to obtain illegal loans.
“All of that fraud involves that man,” said Savage, pointing to Vinson in the courtroom Thursday. “Is there any reasonable doubt? The answer is no.”
But Clark said Vinson never asked anyone to make an illegal loan and that it was Cashion who directed the scheme. Cashion testified that Vinson never told him lie to bank officials.
“It was Buck who was in the banks every day trying to get these deals done,” Clark said. “Keith Vinson was not a conspirator with Buck Cashion. There is no evidence Keith Vinson did anything improperly.”
Clark said Vinson wasn’t present at any loan application or signing.
Ten co-defendants already had pleaded guilty in connection with the scheme, which left Vinson as the only conspirator left to stand trial.
According to the 27-page indictment, Vinson and others “devised and executed various schemes to defraud federally insured banks and others to forestall the failure of their luxury residential development.”
Three defendants who had been scheduled to be tried along with Vinson entered guilty pleas last month. Former Pisgah Community Bank President Thomas ”Ted” Durham Jr. and retired appraiser Aaron Ollis each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States. Accountant George M. Gabler pleaded guilty to withholding information about a crime.
Cashion and real estate investor Raymond “Ray” Chapman Jr. pleaded guilty last month to one count each of conspiracy to defraud the United States.
Durham and former Bank of Asheville President George Gordon “Buddy” Greenwood “conspired to conceal the risks posed by Seven Falls-related loans from their shareholders, auditors and regulators,” court records state.
Greenwood pleaded guilty to bank fraud charges and was sentenced in May 2012 to four years in federal prison. According to court records, Greenwood was involved in illegal loans to Vinson totaling nearly $6.8 million.
Problems with Seven Falls played a key role in the fall of the Bank of Asheville.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. shut down the bank in January 2011 and transferred its assets to Troy-based First Bank because of big losses on loans.
Pisgah Community Bank also failed because of the conspiracy, according to the government.
Source: Clarke Morrison & Romando Dixson, Seven Falls’ Vinson guilty, The Asheville Citizen Times, http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20131018/NEWS/310170091/Seven-Falls-Vinson-guilty, 18/10/2013. (Accessed 20/10/2013.)