Thom Kimmel - Victim or Vulture?

Norefund

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After reading the thread about Bill Boyd losing his settlement money to the Thom Kimmel investment fraud, I am left speechless. I have a family member that basically lost their entire retirement fund to this scam so I do have that perspective. Reading through the article about his sentencing, his brother in law claims to have lost more than anyone after investing in the scam. His brother in law also stood by Thom throughout the trial and defends him even now. He claims that Thom was deceived by the others involved in Sure Line investments and that Thom was made to be the fall guy after the rest were given plea deals. The picture that accompanies the story shows Thom carrying a Bible along with a portfolio as he is leaving or entering the courtroom.

My question is....which is it? Was he a good man that truly believed the absolute ridiculous claims he was spouting or was he a ruthless vulture that preyed on the innocent and, in some cases, financially ignorant? I am having trouble with the concept that any Christian, or even regular decent human being that isn't a Christian, could knowingly damage so many people.  Am I being naive?

I ask because of a post here by one of the members of our FFF community that I admire stating that this person is praying for the Thom and his family. That post is the only thing making me question my opinion that he is/was a vulture.
 

Timotheus

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Norefund said:
After reading the thread about Bill Boyd losing his settlement money to the Thom Kimmel investment fraud, I am left speechless. I have a family member that basically lost their entire retirement fund to this scam so I do have that perspective. Reading through the article about his sentencing, his brother in law claims to have lost more than anyone after investing in the scam. His brother in law also stood by Thom throughout the trial and defends him even now. He claims that Thom was deceived by the others involved in Sure Line investments and that Thom was made to be the fall guy after the rest were given plea deals. The picture that accompanies the story shows Thom carrying a Bible along with a portfolio as he is leaving or entering the courtroom.

My question is....which is it? Was he a good man that truly believed the absolute ridiculous claims he was spouting or was he a ruthless vulture that preyed on the innocent and, in some cases, financially ignorant? I am having trouble with the concept that any Christian, or even regular decent human being that isn't a Christian, could knowingly damage so many people.  Am I being naive?

I ask because of a post here by one of the members of our FFF community that I admire stating that this person is praying for the Thom and his family. That post is the only thing making me question my opinion that he is/was a vulture.
I pick vulture since schizophrenia isn't one of the options. 

According to one article, Gibbs even wrote him and Schaap in 2007 to tell Kimmel "After careful review of the collateralized note program, I feel I must warn you of the possible liability to both First Baptist Church and to Mr. Kimmel himself for selling unlicensed securities."  In 2008 Kimmel was also told that the company was losing money and he still kept selling.  (this is from the NWI.com article from 10/3)

How he got good people to write support letters for him is beyond me.  Delusion still reigns at FBC.

He had an official office at FBC.  What was his title?  Financial Counselor?  I wonder if anyone will be a "backslider" and sue FBC for their part in giving Kimmel credibility to steal from all of these people.  If FBC had any ethics and Biblical righteousness, they would give Bill Boyd's widow back all of the money that they lost with Kimmel.  Raise money and take out a loan for that, not some stupid half filled building!
 

Binaca Chugger

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Timotheus said:
If FBC had any ethics and Biblical righteousness, they would give Bill Boyd's widow back all of the money that they lost with Kimmel.  Raise money and take out a loan for that, not some stupid half filled building!
AMEN!!
 

Binaca Chugger

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IF I were being honest - both.

He is a money hungry fiend.  He knew he was involved in illegal activity.  He had been given warnings from lawyers and cease and desist letters from DAs.  I think he really thought he had found a way to beat the system.  There is a possibility that he thought he could help other Christians beat the system also, while making a good profit for himself.  However, he still knew what he was doing was wrong, even if he did think he was really helping other people.  Al Capone was a great humanitarian who helped many people in his city.  Capone was loved by the general public.  Capone was a monster.  Yep, I just compared Kimmell to Capone.
 

Sherryh

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Watch American Greed ...............
 

rsc2a

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Sherryh said:
Watch American Greed ...............
Is it better than American Choppers?
 

BALAAM

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Here is my personal view:

I did not know Thom well just as an acquaintance. For some strange reason though, I was fairly friendly with several folks who had been involved with Thom in different business ventures from way back when he arrived in Hammond circa late 1970's. Not one of them had a good thing to say about him. He was smart but devious. One of his former partners told me to never turn my back on him. When Thom was conducting his debt-free and prosperous living conferences I ran into this guy when I hadn't seen him in a couple of years. We were talking about business and how rough we were having it and I kind of laughingly said to him that maybe we should go see Kimmel. He laughed and said he had borrowed Kimmel $10,000.00 years before when Kimmel came to him in tears saying he had to have money and Kimmel had never paid it back. He paid all secured creditors but not his personal debts or friends. ( you can always make new ones at fbc if you kiss the right butts)

Since the 1980's Thom, in his classes, was bragging about investment returns that would have Warren Buffett knocking his door down to offer him a job. Big yellow flag for me. Even back then there was an older hacker who came from another state that was going to take his entire 401K and let Thom invest it for him.

He had a radio program and he would routinely spout how 'the market' was doing and he really had no idea what he was talking about. His views on tithing and giving to church (fbch) were extremely unbiblical and extra biblical. Schaap kept him around because when Hyles died Kimmel already had his  nose so far up schaap's but he could not be separated without surgery. Not to mention that he helped to keep the $$$$ coming in to fbch. I have felt since the 1980's that when schaap looked at you he was looking right through you and his total mindset was "What can YOU do for ME?".

I am not an investor and have no great insight into investment deals but I have read quite a bit because I thought may be one day I might have money to invest! (hasn't happened) But, I do know a couple simple rules of investing that anybody should know.
1. Don't put all of your eggs in one basket.
2. Never invest more than you can afford to lose.
3. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
4. If the guy pedaling you the investment advice is so sharp; Why is he doing it? If he is that smart he should be living on his own private island somewhere.

Now, at fbch there is a man who is a deacon that has been around since the flood and has been in the investment business all of his life. He could have been consulted but I haven't heard of anyone who did. There is another man named Joe Wittig who is quite wealthy and even though I am not really a big fan (he would skin a flea to sell the hide and tallow) I think he is sharp and would definitely ask him before making any investments like Kimmel's. I haven't heard of anyone who did but I am quite sure that Joe never lost a dime in kimmel's scheme.

There were enough red and yellow flags from years ago that should have even alerted kimmel himself that maybe all he was doing was not on the up and up. Schaap only dumped him when he found out the church could somehow be involved in his schemes. Other than that I don't think schaap cared much as long as he helped to keep money rolling in. Schaap himself said once that he made every decision based on $$$. IMO only!
 

Norefund

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When and how did Schaap dump him? I understood he had an office at FBC and Schaap would often personally recommend him (this was the case with my family member).
 

BALAAM

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Norefund said:
When and how did Schaap dump him? I understood he had an office at FBC and Schaap would often personally recommend him (this was the case with my family member).
I am not exactly sure how. He had an office across from the church with his name on the window outside of it. He had a fairly prominent position and a radio program. He was removed and his name and radio program were removed within a week. I heard it was because schaap was warned of something like this. He had used fbch letterhead in some of his correspondence so that everyone would think that everything he said and did was fully endorsed by fbch. And it was as long as he was helping to bring in cash. Once he became a possible liability he was gone in a heartbeat. And, schaap dumped a lot of people in the same manner.
 

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BALAAM said:
There is another man named Joe Wittig who is quite wealthy and even though I am not really a big fan (he would skin a flea to sell the hide and tallow)
Ouch! And because some told me you were him, I actually asked him recently, " Are you Balaam from the FFF" and he got quite indignant and asked, " So you think I am some guy named Balaam posting on some Internet forum? I am too busy for such nonsense" and he trotted off. LOL :p
 

BALAAM

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groupie said:
BALAAM said:
There is another man named Joe Wittig who is quite wealthy and even though I am not really a big fan (he would skin a flea to sell the hide and tallow)
Ouch! And because some told me you were him, I actually asked him recently, " Are you Balaam from the FFF" and he got quite indignant and asked, " So you think I am some guy named Balaam posting on some Internet forum? I am too busy for such nonsense" and he trotted off. LOL :p
Couldn't have been in the last couple of days could it?
 

cast.sheep

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When does Mr. Kimmel start serving his sentence?
 

BALAAM

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cast.sheep said:
When does Mr. Kimmel start serving his sentence?
I think he already has been the last few months. Even though he was not in jail yet. Seriously, I have not heard.
 

brainisengaged

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I still see him at church every Sunday. So I was kind of wondering when he has to start serving his sentence, didn't exactly feel like going up and asking him... :(
 

IFB X-Files

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brainisengaged said:
I still see him at church every Sunday. So I was kind of wondering when he has to start serving his sentence, didn't exactly feel like going up and asking him... :(
Maybe you could ease into the question with  "So when do you start your prison ministry?"
 

BALAAM

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You know in reality, what are you supposed to say about a situation like this? The guy was shady and crooked since I met him. I never trusted him and always distrust the super sanctimonious type.

However, he is in poor health and has been for a number of years. I know his kids. He has grandkids. And, he most likely will die in prison.  Sad, sad, sad is all I can say. Never was too fond of his wife but I still feel sorry for the whole situation and all involved. 

Just my 2 cents.
 

brainisengaged

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Yeah, there's no animosity on my part either. It's definitely sad, for all involved, on each side of things.
 

Timotheus

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brainisengaged said:
I still see him at church every Sunday. So I was kind of wondering when he has to start serving his sentence, didn't exactly feel like going up and asking him... :(
The craziness of Thom going back to the scene of his greatest crime (FBC) before he starts to serve his sentence is unbelievable.  Last time I checked, Cricket Boyd was still trying to pay off Bill's funeral, and there are many more there that he stole from.

It would be like giving Jack, after he was caught, access to the youth department hoping he wouldn't get the urge to "counsel" some girl.
 

groupie

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Timotheus said:
The craziness of Thom going back to the scene of his greatest crime (FBC) before he starts to serve his sentence is unbelievable.  Last time I checked, Cricket Boyd was still trying to pay off Bill's funeral, and there are many more there that he stole from.

It would be like giving Jack, after he was caught, access to the youth department hoping he wouldn't get the urge to "counsel" some girl.
That is becasue FBC does not follow the Biblical teaching of church discipline.
 
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