Jul 19, 2014

On the Hunt for Alleged Church Ponzi Schemer

June 18, 2014

Part 2: After alleged victims say Ephren Taylor disappeared, ABC News tracked him down in Kansas.

Transcript for On the Hunt for Alleged Church Ponzi Schemer

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We're back with a special edition of "Nightline. " Ephron Taylor was the son of a preacher who told believers he could revolutionize their finances, but then it all went very wrong, so what would he say when "Nightline" caught up with him and his wife? Here's ABC's -- again.

Reporter: There was this Ephren Taylor. The man in the music video celebrating the high life starring his wife. 

I do what I want ?   I move like a billionaire ?

And then there was this Ephren Taylor. I tell you, are you broke? You can't make no money.

Reporter: Who preached faith-based investing to churches across the country. You want to get paid this morning? Somebody raise their hand and give god the praise if you want to get paid this morning.

Reporter: He was charged with the fcc by running what they call a Ponzi scheme saying he preyed on those church Goers who gave them their trust and more than $11 million. Suddenly the whole thing went upside down. Reporter: Back then the fcc told us they couldn't find him.

His attorney told us he was just staying out of the spotlight. Hmm. Well, we got a curious tip.

If we really wanted to talk to the taylors, we might want to look in linexa, Kansas. Specifically at a shop called panacea massage. There always a lot of comment about in the past having had lots of money.

Reporter: Two years ago in the fall a massage therapist rented a room. She went by the name Liz Taylor. No, not that Liz Taylor.

Though she did seem to share the late actress's love of bling. She would also make comments about how my purse was cheap, and he was used to the good purse. I got the point that she was very depressed about her current lifestyle.

Reporter: She says her husband also talked about his previous career and lost fortune. Her husband, ephron Taylor. He is really smart, quoting her, and he is really in investments, and he is a consultant.

I said what happened to all the money? Well, you know, the market went bad, and the same old answer to every question everybody has money. They like to whisper all the time.

Even if you're standing right next to them, they whisper in each other's ears. They can't look you in the eye. They don't acknowledge you're standing in the room with them.

Reporter: One day Anna says ephron was sitting at the front desk, and she says he seemed nervous. He was just sitting at the desk on the computer. I don't know what he was doing, but he was sitting there, and I went to grab a piece of scotch paper, and he backed up so far away from me so far that he hit the desk.

Pam decided to install security cameras. He says ephron took moat. One of the comments that I was told he said, hey, look, heavy cameras.

Be careful what you said because there's audio and night vision. It was, like, well, what's going on? Reporter: This was when the salon ladies turned into amateur sleuths.

She had me look at Liz's nslicees. I said her license is Michel. The recording artist?

She googled it, and then the whole can of worms opened up. Reporter: They even found our ABC news "Nightline" story which they viewed on-line. Then it was the whole scam thing that surfaced on the internet.

That's how it all came together. It was all within a matter of 20, 30 minutes. Then we all went ah.

I was, like, oh, my god. We had no idea. Reporter: Apparently while all those investors wondered where he was, ephron Taylor was spending his days in a suburban day spa.

Salon ladies made the connection and contacted one of our sources and called "Mightline. " A lot of people may have said, you know what, let's just wash your hands of these people, let them go. Oh, absolutely not.

If you are so quick to take someone's money and just leave them high and dry you are capable of anything. Reporter: Our source told "Nightline" about the activities in Kansas, and sure enough we caught up with them at an apartment complex. What do you say to all those families that say you cheated them?

Can you give them an answer? Those families that say they took their money? Sir?

Anything to say to all of those families? What about the money that the courts are ordering you to pay those families? Do you plan to pay them back?

There's a lot of people who are hoping to hear from you. Do you have any response? Anything for those people?

There's a lot of people trying to reach you. Reporter: An hour later as if nothing happened Taylor's wife shows up for work. Is your husband here?

I'm with you. I'm with you. You guys running from everybody?

What do you say to the court and all of that money that the court is asking you guys to pay back? The families feel that you have cheated them. Do you have anything to say to those people who say that they think that you have taken money from them?

Do you have anything to say to those families at all? Reporter: Her reaction was one of the strangest we had ever seen. Like she was walking the runway at a surreal fashion show.

Reporter: Do you have anything to say at all? Do you and your husband plan to go somewhere else after this? Not a word.

Reporter: That is until today. When we come back, what happened just hours ago that has some of Taylor's investors jumping up and down. They are joyful.