Guilty plea in fraud case; megachurch pastor awaits trial

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — A Louisiana investment adviser has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in a $3.5 million case that also involves a minister who was once spiritual adviser to former President George W. Bush.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Shreveport says 55-year-old Gregory Alan Smith pleaded guilty Tuesday and is scheduled for sentencing Dec. 11.

That’s nine days after the scheduled start of trial for Kirbyjon Caldwell, who officiated at the 2008 wedding of Bush’s daughter Jenna and remains pastor of a Houston megachurch.

Smith and Caldwell were charged last year with wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.

Prosecutors said they used their positions to lure investors to pay for bonds issued by the Chinese government before the Communist takeover in 1949. The bonds don’t have any investment value.

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