Charges dropped against DeKalb minister, brother; investors get $90K back

Wiley Jackson, pastor of Gospel Tabernacle Church, is shown in this 2005 photo.

Credit: AJC file

Credit: AJC file

Wiley Jackson, pastor of Gospel Tabernacle Church, is shown in this 2005 photo.

The case against a DeKalb County minister and his brother, who were accused of selling investments without a license, has been dismissed after they repaid investors $90,000, the district attorney’s office said Tuesday.

The Rev. Wiley Jackson, pastor of Gospel Tabernacle Cathedral, and Rodney Jackson were named in an eight-count indictment in December. The indictment charged that the brothers’ company, Genesis LLC, received at least $12,000 from individuals as far back as 2002 through investment contracts the company was not licensed to issue.

Since the indictment, five more investors have come forward claiming they also lost money, according to the DA’s office, which said the money was paid to seven investors from an escrow account.

In a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Rev. Jackson said he violated no law and would have prevailed at a trial. The minister said he followed the advice of a certified public accountant, who was also a licensed securities broker, in dealing with investors.

“When Genesis was not successful, I attempted to contact all investors and repay them principal and interest,” the Rev. Jackon said. “I did this in 2008. It seems several investors were not located. When they were, I paid them, just as I paid all the other investors in 2008.”

Rodney Jackson said he was “grateful” the case was dropped. “I’m thankful I can now put this chapter behind me,” the brother said.

District Attorney Robert James said there were no records that indicated Genesis was authorized to do business in Georgia. “It did not exist and it was not licensed to operate in Georgia,” James said.

“We struck this negotiated deal with Rodney and Wiley Jackson to make sure our victims were made whole,” the DA said. “Even if we had received a conviction, it may have been years before they received their money back.”

Jerry Froelich Jr., who represented the Jackson brothers, said he provided proof to the DA’s office that Genesis, which he said the CPA created in 1999, was registered with the state and had a federal tax identification before it ceased operations around 2005. The CPA, who was not identified, has since died, the attorney said.

Froelich said the Rev. Jackson was a partner in the company and followed the advice of the CPA. He said the minister paid out more than $300,000 to investors out of his own pocket.

James said his office has investigated other complaints involving churches allegedly selling securities without a license but this was the first case in which felt he had enough evidence to present to a grand jury.

”Our goal with any case in our office is to find a resolve for those affected by a crime,” James said.

The DA’s office said the original two investors were members of Gospel Tabernacle, which has locations in Atlanta and Stone Mountain. No information was provided on the investors who came forward after the indictment.

The indictment said the Jacksons “failed to inform potential investors that there was a risk that they could lose their principle investment,” a necessary warning to ensure investors would not be misled, the indictment said.

The DA’s office said the state does not intend to seek any further indictments against the Jacksons.