Toronto pastor's scam took $8 million

Winnipeg Free Press, Canada/April 7, 2012

Toronto -- A Toronto pastor swindled parishioners and colleagues of more than $8 million, the Ontario Securities Commission has found.

The commission found Marlon Hibbert, founder of Dominion World Outreach Ministries, lied about using investments to trade foreign exchange currencies.

"By virtue of Hibbert's deceptions and untruths, many investors lost their entire investment," commissioner James Carnwath ruled. "To date, they are owed more than $8.2 million in principal, to say nothing of the promised returns of more than $13 million."

The ruling says one victim was a stay-at-home mom with two sons, both blind and one also autistic.

She invested $60,000 from her mother-in-law's estate with Hibbert in a bid to establish security for her oldest son, who she said will probably never be able to work.

The unnamed witness understood her investment would be used to trade foreign exchange currencies, the ruling said, and was never told part of the money would be used to pay other investors, for office expenses or to compensate Hibbert and his family.

Another victim was a part-time teacher who ended up having to sell her home and live in a rental property with her husband and three children.

She testified she invested $60,000 with Hibbert after hearing about him from friends. She was also persuaded, the ruling said, "because Hibbert was a pastor."

No hearing has yet been set for imposing penalties.

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