SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As KELOLAND News first told you, a so-called pastor from Pennsylvania will spend 25 years behind bars for scamming millions of dollars using fake humanitarian projects as bait for investors.
Some victims are right here in South Dakota.
Nathan Peachey’s co-defendant in the case, John Winder of New Mexico, skipped his sentencing at the federal courthouse in Sioux Falls and is on the run from the law.
But he’s not the only one evading authorities. In a rare interview, the FBI agent whose investigation took him all the way to Norway, sat down with us to talk about the shocking case.
Norwegian real estate is expensive and after Nathan Peachey and another American, Lorin Rosier, purchased this home on a Fjord in Norway for more than a million dollars, they spent another couple of million dollars of investors’ money to lavishly remodel it.
“They claimed during the trial that was the headquarters for their humanitarian efforts, but to our eye, it looked kind of like a more luxury mansion, FBI Agent Matt Miller said.
According to authorities, Peachey and his cohorts planned to buy up more homes in the area and create a sovereign state. In court, it was revealed that Peachey didn’t file federal income taxes. Meanwhile, his co-defendant, John Winer, wrote a letter saying the court had no jurisdiction over him and was a no-show for his sentencing.
“I’d say very often there is a narcissistic or sociopathic element to these (defendants) because you have to take it and not think about the consequences to the people you’re taking it from, even though you know it’s their retirement money; you know it’s money for their kid’s college, and you have to just disregard that, knowing they’re never going to get that money back.”
FBI Agent Matt Miller
When Miller and Norwegian authorities arrived to search the mansion, they uncovered millions in silver coins purchases with investors’ money stashed away in these boxes.
“There were just stacks of them and when you opened them they sort of shined and gleaned. In fact, in the trial we had one of the agents show the jury what these silver coins looked like and they were amazed,” Miller said.
Now those silver coins have been seized and proceeds from any assets the U.S. government can obtain out of Norway will go to nearly two dozen victims, such as Alex Knox of Arizona.
“Whether we see ten cents on the dollar, on what they’ve seized in properties and vehicles and silver and other items these people have bought. But I’m not the only victim, I can’t just count on, ‘oh I want all my money back and made in whole,’” Knox said.
Knox is one of many victims deceived by a trusted financial planner who prayed on their Christian values to get them to invest large amounts of money into fake humanitarian projects. KELOLAND Investigates will have Knox’s story, plus hear from the Norwegian journalists who traveled to South Dakota to cover the case and the mystery that still exists over where some of the funds ended up. You won’t want to miss our full investigation in the “Silver Coin Schemers” Thursday on KELOLAND News at 10.