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Alleged Ponzi scheme in Spokane leaves lives shattered

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this is a sorry little tale involving Jehovah's Name...

"Hundreds of investors victimized in an alleged Spokane-based Ponzi scheme are now being sued by bankruptcy officials attempting to unravel the complicated case of Little Loan Shoppe.

Some investors call it a “salt-in-the-wound” effort to wring money from those who were scammed out of their savings.

But the bankruptcy trustee pursuing this aptly named “claw-back” litigation said it may be the only way to ensure a fair payout. Cash collected from investors who received any kind of payment from Little Loan Shoppe will be pooled with other recoveries and redistributed equitably.

The company collapsed into bankruptcy in 2009; the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleged in a civil complaint filed this week that founder Doris “Dee” Nelson raised about $135 million from more than 650 investors from 1999 to 2008. About 75 percent of the investors were members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses denomination, court records say.

“We’ve lost everything and can’t even afford to return home,” said Russell Titmas, who invested his savings while performing missionary work in southern Mexico for the Jehovah’s Witnesses. “Now they want more.”


Many of Elsaesser’s clients are Jehovah’s Witnesses who invested based on the testimonials offered by religious friends and family. He disagrees with trustee Kriegman that the claw-back litigation is the appropriate means to an equitable distribution.

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