CNBC’s American Greed Spotlights Ponzi Scheme Mastermind Ephren Taylor, Brought to Justice by Lerman Law Firm

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The latest episode of CNBC’s American Greed focused on how fraudster Ephren Taylor scammed more than 400 churchgoers out of millions of dollars until he was exposed by Lerman Law firm with assistance from strategic communications firm Red Banyan. Affinity fraud, especially among religious groups, is rampant, but this case proved that it can be stopped and the perpetrators brought to justice through a coordinated litigation and media strategy.

“Ephren Taylor would never have been caught and convicted without a robust legal strategy paired with a savvy media strategy,” said Lerman. “We were honored to partner with Red Banyan. They are a world-class organization and there is nobody better at what they do."

The downfall of financial scammer Ephren Taylor, triggered in part by the legal and media pressure placed on him by Lerman Law Firm (Cathy Jackson Lerman, P.A.) and strategic PR partner Red Banyan, was the focus of this week’s episode of CNBC’s hit show American Greed. Aired on September 10, the episode highlights Taylor’s ruthless scam, which bilked over 400 victims for tens of millions of dollars and ultimately landed him in prison for nearly two decades.

Before his arrest and conviction, Taylor portrayed himself as a socially conscious investor and the youngest African American CEO of a publicly traded company. But his “Building Wealth” tour at churches across the country was just a Ponzi scheme designed to build his personal wealth. The Lerman Law Firm, which represented more than 200 people scammed by Taylor, worked hand-in-hand with Red Banyan, a leading national PR and strategic communications agency, to expose Ephren’s fraudulent behavior and ultimately secure justice for the victims, who were awarded $15.6 million in restitution.

“I want to thank ‘American Greed’ for doing this story, which should be a warning to everyone that if someone is trying to sell you an investment from the pulpit, there is something very wrong,” said Cathy Lerman, Principal of Lerman Law Firm. “Ephren Taylor was a sociopath and master manipulator who used the faith of his targets to steal their life savings.”

Leveraging the power of the press, Red Banyan played a key role in supporting the legal strategy by sparking press interest in Taylor’s Ponzi scheme and unmasking the carefully contrived and false image that he had previously developed. As Red Banyan worked with enterprising investigative reporters to uncover the facts, hundreds of additional victims came forward to provide new information and to join the legal efforts against the perpetrator. Ultimately, the Lerman Law Firm pursued class action lawsuits against Taylor and his cohorts and facilitators with dozens of plaintiffs from nearly all 50 states.

“Ephren Taylor would never have been caught and convicted without a robust legal strategy paired with a savvy media strategy,” said Lerman. “We were honored to partner with Red Banyan. They are a world-class organization and there is nobody better at what they do. Red Banyan expertly managed press outreach to amplify our efforts and alert potential victims before they could fall prey to Taylor and his cynical and heartless scams.”

The Lerman Law Firm remains available to assist victims of similar schemes and affinity frauds, and to counsel religious leaders on methods for curtailing this type of fraud.

About the Lerman Law Firm

The Lerman Law Firm, provides legal services in a variety of diverse business and legal matters to individuals, companies, and business owners/entrepreneurs. The firm is committed to providing its clients with aggressive, ethical and cost-effective legal services backed by over 30 years of legal experience. The Lerman Law Firm website may be found at http://www.lermanfirm.com.

About Red Banyan

Red Banyan is a top public relations agency with clients across the country and internationally. With offices in Florida, Washington, D.C. and Texas, Red Banyan combines a substantive understanding of complex issues with the experience and skills needed to execute campaigns that deliver results. Specializing in crisis communications, corporate public relations, government relations, and legal PR, Red Banyan provides an integrated approach to communications rooted in strategy. Learn more at http://www.redbanyan.com, become a fan on the Red Banyan Facebook page and follow the firm on Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Cathy Lerman
Lerman Law Firm
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