Skip navigation

TV Pastor and Radio Host Caught in Federal Criminal Fraud

or Register to post new content in the forum



  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Jun 21, 2010 12:30 pm

A Dubious Gem of an Idea

On June 15, 2010, 63-year-old Samuel Solanky, a/k/a "Samee" Solanky, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in connection with a scheme by which he caused individuals to invest approximately $3 million in a non-existant jewelry business. Solanky also agreed to a $3 million forfeiture.  Solanky was a pastor who had a religious show on cable television known as "Vandana," which was broadcast in the New York City metropolitan area and elsewhere. From in or about June 2005 through in or about July 2009, the Solanky engaged in a scheme where he solicited investments from individuals by telling them that he would use their investments to purchase gem stones in India that would be sold to jewelers in the United States.

"Your Money" Is "My" Money

In a similarly disturbing case, on June 15, 2010, 44-year-old Gregg T. Rennie, a Quincy, Massachusetts financial advisor who hosted the “Your Money” radio talk show, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Edward F. Harrington to seven years imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release and order to pay $3,786,685.42 in federal court for stealing over $3 million from clients, listeners to his radio program and friends.

According to materials released by United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Rennie stole almost four million dollars from various victims, including

an elderly gentleman who Rennie had known since his childhood, retirees who invested their retirement savings with him, individuals who listened to Rennie’s radio show, and a church congregation that had invested the funds they had raised to build a new church.

Rennie solicited his victims to investment in what he described as risk free federal housing certificates with guaranteed rates of return. Investors were told that these investments involved government grants or loans for housing projects, or were otherwise investments in federally subsidized real estate developments. Rennie persuaded other victims to invest funds in annuity products that he claimed offered guaranteed rates of return.