An entrepreneuer who is the focus of a YouTube appeal by Bishop Eddie Long is disputing some of Long's statements in the video, in which Long asks that investments be returned to some of his congregants.
Ephren W. Taylor, former chief executive of City Capital Corp., said in a statement Tuesday that attorneys for the California firm have talked with and e-mailed members of Long's church, New Birth Missionary Baptist, about the investments.
Since last year, the statement said, "the legal team has been working with individuals to legally and privately resolve, refund and restructure any potential losses. To protect the integrity of the process, resolutions are confidential."
In the unusual video, Long saidthe church held a financial seminar about a year ago and that several members invested through City Capital. He said some retirement accounts related to those investments tanked.
In the video he asks Taylor and City Capital to "do what's right" and return the money, with interest. At least 20 members invested considerable money with at least one now close to home foreclosure, according to a church spokesman.
Taylor's statement said discussions have been held as recently as January and included Maurice Waddell, New Birth's chief operating officer.
Taylor left City Capital in October and since then, the statement said, has operated independently.
"However, in good faith, I have chosen to honor my commitment to assist in the efforts to advance a swift and positive conclusion for all parties," he said.
Taylor, 28, also disputed Long's assertion that neither he nor New Birth benefited from the business members did with City Capital. He said he met with Long in late 2009 before bringing the "Wealth Tour Live" to New Birth. He said the church received a percentage of product sales and planned to sell videos from the presentations. He also said New Birth worked with City Capital on a jobs creation project.
New Birth and Long later issued another statement.
"New Birth and Bishop Long are not personally attacking Ephren Taylor. ... New Birth and Bishop Long are merely supporting New Birth members, who contacted their pastor regarding their concerns about their relationship with Ephren Taylor and City Capital Corporation. It was clear that the New Birth members expressed dissatisfaction with Ephren Taylor and City Capital Corporation with what they deemed was a lack of response and a lack of results," according to the statement issued late Tuesday night.
The statement again said Long did not benefit personally from Taylor's seminar,
but it did say
it is New Birth's standard practice to have its bookstore handle matters of this
Additionally, it said, there are costs in having events at New Birth" which as a matter of policy are to be reimbursed by the applicable speaker or vendor. Payment for these reimbursable expenses comes from a percentage of the book, DVD, CD, etc. sales generated from these events."
It also said Taylor "unsolicited" offered to introduce New Birth to a Florida company to help with it media buys.
Candace Reese J., a spokeswoman for Taylor, said he would not comment beyond the statement. She said Taylor no longer has any affiliation with City Capital and lives in New York.
City Capital could not be reached for comment.
In announcing Taylor's resignation on Oct. 22, the company said his departure "was not the result of any disagreements with the Company regarding its operations, policies, or practices."