Jehovah's Witnesses Elder Convicted Of Defrauding Church Members, Others
Out Of Millions
South Florida Sun-Sentinel - November 19, 2002
An elder in the Jehovah's Witness church was convicted on Friday of defrauding
elderly and financially unsophisticated church members and others out of millions of dollars.
Federal prosecutors said Raymond L. Knowles, who lists addresses in Opa-locka, Pembroke Pines and San Antonio,
preyed upon members in his congregation and others by persuading them to invest in promissory notes and promising them an
annual return of 8.5 percent to 9.25 percent. The notes were worthless.
Through his company, All Diversified Financial Services Inc., Knowles issued more than $533,000 of the notes, the
federal indictment stated.
To perpetuate the scheme over a number of years, the government said, Knowles used a Ponzi type scheme that used
funds obtained from later investors to make payments to early investors. He also diverted investor funds to lease luxury cars
for his and his wife's personal use, and to pay personal, business and other expenses, including trips to South Africa and
Disney World, the government said.
In all, Knowles was convicted of 16 counts of mail fraud, four counts of wire fraud and four counts of securities
fraud. He faces a maximum of five years of imprisonment for each mail and wire fraud count and a maximum of 10 years in federal
prison with respect to each of the securities fraud counts.
Church Elder To Trial
A former leader of a South Valley Jehovah's Witness congregation
will go to trial on sex charges. Louis Anguiano is accused of molesting
a 12-year-old church member. Anguiano served until last year as an elder at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's
Witnesses in Visalia.
Prosecutors say he was a friend of the victim's family and began molesting the girl about two years ago. Investigators
say the girl told them Anguiano showered her with gifts, including underwear and cash.
Friday, a Tulare County judge ruled there is enough evidence to try him on the charges. Anguiano could face up
to 16 years in prison if convicted.
Jack Dale Walker, 2001-08-28, Oklahoma - Executed JW Killer
Jack Dale Walker was executed by lethal injection Tuesday, almost 13 years after he stabbed his estranged girlfriend
and her uncle to death.
Walker was pronounced dead at 9:09 p.m. at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary. Several members
of the victims' families watched the execution, including some who witnessed the vicious attack by Walker at a mobile home
in Bixby, a Tulsa suburb.
Shelly Ellison and Donald Epperson suffered deep wounds from a hunting knife wielded by Walker, 35,
on Dec. 30, 1988.
Ellison, 17-year-old mother of Walker's 3-month-old son, suffered 32 stab wounds. Epperson was stabbed
During 20 minutes of terror that began about 8 a.m., Ellison broke free to dial 911. "I need help. He's stabbing
me. I'm dead. Please," she told the dispatcher. Children were yelling and a baby could be heard crying in the background.
Juanita Epperson, mother of Donald Epperson, also was severely stabbed, but survived.
At a clemency hearing, Walker apologized to the victims' family "for all the pain I've caused them and for
this whole ordeal that has been tragic for a lot of people." His plea for a life sentence was rejected after several family
members gave eyewitness accounts of the vicious attack and said Walker had been violent in the past and would be a continuing
Walker, the product of a broken home, had a history of drug and alcohol abuse. The week before his execution, he
told a Tulsa World reporter that psychological treatment could have prevented the slayings.
Born in Claremore, he attended Bixby High School. Unlike many convicted murderers, Walker had no felony convictions,
but was prone toward violence, according to Ellison's relatives. He was only 22 when he went to the Bixby home to try to persuade
his girlfriend to leave with him by threatening suicide. But on a police tape immediately after his arrest, Walker said he
went to the home with "the full intention of either taking the baby or murdering her or whoever got in the way."
Walker's son, now 13, wrote a letter to the clemency board in support of his father's execution. "Sometimes
I think about what life would be like if my mom were alive, but then I come to my senses and realize that was destroyed by
one man, Jack Walker," wrote Joshua Ellison, who has been adopted by his maternal grandparents. "I think Jack Walker
should pay for what he did to my mother. I think he should die for taking my mom away from me." Walker said
he hopes his son will forgive him when he is older.
A Jehovah's Witness, he said he did not fear death, calling it merely unconsciousness.
"God has forgiven me of my sins, not mankind," he said.
Jehovah's Witness Gets 15 Years For Fatal Stabbing
A Jehovah's Witness who stabbed another motorist to death in what at first appeared
to be a case of road rage was sentenced to 15 years yesterday in Montgomery County Circuit Court for killing one of his wife's
A jury convicted Alexander Smith Asomani of second-degree murder on May 22, and Judge Michael D. Mason sentenced
him to 15 years in prison for the Oct. 27 stabbing death of Oral Duncan Taylor in Nevada.
Asomani testified at trial
that Taylor, 31, had called him vulgar names, made obscene gestures and followed in his car on several occasions, including
the day of the confrontation in the parking lot of Resurrection Lutheran Church on University Boulevard.
11 stab wounds and eight cuts and "any of three stab wounds were potentially fatal," associate pathologist Dr. Daniel Brown
of the Chief Medical Examiner's Office in Baltimore testified at trial.
Deputy State's Attorney John J. McCarthy told
the jury of seven women and five men Asomani chased Taylor into the church's fenced-in parking lot and executed him.
said at sentencing yesterday that Asomani wants to kill himself, but his religious beliefs prohibit him from acting on his