A megachurch in Michigan has announced that they will set up a "special fund" to raise the approximately $300,000 a Ponzi schemer donated to its congregation.
Resurrection Life Church, a large congregation with campuses in Grandville and Holland, had $300,000 donated to it by a convicted Ponzi scammer.
In response to recent attention given to the congregation over the question of them returning the money, Resurrection Life addressed the issue Wednesday afternoon on social media.
Duane Vander Klok, pastor at Resurrection Life, explained in a Facebook post that it would be impossible to return the specific funds donated by convicted Ponzi schemer David McQueen.
"The money was dispersed to various charitable causes many years ago according to the requirements of the law. Because so much time has passed since the donations were made, it is impossible to find those dollars now," wrote Klok.
"The orphanages, missionaries, even local businesses who actually received portions of that money have all long since put it to good use, and so have the businesses where they spent it and so on."
After noting that Resurrection Life was unaware that the donations were of dubious origin, Klok went on to note that a "special fund" will be created for people to donate to help those wronged by McQueen.
"We are in the process of establishing a special fund account to benefit the investors who lost their funds," continued Klok.
"Our church community can donate to the account and all the monies received into that fund will be put towards the restoration of the investor's loss. An independent attorney will oversee the escrow fund and will coordinate with the US Attorney for eventual distribution of all funds received to the victims."
Last year McQueen was found guilty of overseeing a $46.5 million Ponzi scheme, with a judge handing him a 30-year sentence.
From 2005 to 2009, McQueen donated $300,000 to Resurrection Life, which federal authorities asked the megachurch to return to the victims of the Ponzi scheme.
When Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Borgula asked the church to return the money his request was denied, according to John Agar of mlive.com.
"We were saddened to hear the news of his wrongdoing, and pray that God will work in his heart and life and bring repentance," noted a letter by the church to Borgula, reported Agar.
"We have prayerfully considered your request that the Church return all or part of this donor's gifts and tithe monies, and must respectfully decline to do so."
Wednesday's Facebook post has garnered as of Friday morning over 880 likes and more than 300 shares, with mostly positive comments posted in response.