The entrepreneur mentioned in the recent YouTube video appeal by Bishop Eddie Long has issued a statement responding to the charge that he and City Capital have not returned $ 1 million in investments to members of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.
In a statement, Ephren Taylor, former CEO of City Capital, called Long’s claims a "direct character assassination." Contrary to what Long said, Taylor asserted that he has been in cooperation with the City Capital's legal team even after his departure as the CEO and has helped to ensure that investors at New Birth each received a resolution package to resolve any outstanding issues.
"Paralegals confirmed that each member received a resolution package, and I personally reviewed an updated report on which clients were contacted, and when contact was initiated," said Taylor, who noted the resolutions are confidential.
Taylor acknowledged, however, that he did speak at New Birth during his Wealth Tour in 2009. During the tour he led business seminars and promoted his book Creating Success from the Inside Out.
Earlier this week, Long was shown in a YouTube video asking City Capital and Taylor to "do what's right" and refund money that was invested by members of his Atlanta-based church. Long said the money was not returned after the investments went "sour."
Asking members of his 25,000-strong congregation to back his appeal, Long said to Taylor, "You’re a great man...Let’s settle this so that these families can move on."
The embattled pastor, who is being accused by four young men of sexual misconduct, said in the video that neither him nor New Birth received money from City Capital for hosting the financial seminars.
But according to Taylor, Long and his church did receive commission from the event.
"The church received a percentage of product sales, and stated their intent to sell videos from the presentations," he explained in the Jan. 31 statement.
Taylor resigned from City Capital on Oct. 22, 2010, but said he is still participating in follow-up talks between City Capital and New Birth, including with Elder Maurice Waddell, the church's chief operating officer. Taylor said that he recently joined a conference call between lawyers of City Capital and members of New Birth in January.
"Since my transition from City Capital Corporation in 2010, I have operated completely independent of the company," said Taylor. "However, in good faith, I have chosen to honor my commitment to assist in the efforts to advance a swift and positive conclusion for all parties."
The YouTube video has since been removed by Franklin Media Group, run by Long's spokesman Art Franklin.