Orange County Con Artist Targeting Christians Wins Long Prison Trip

Categories: Court, Crime-iny
jon g. ervin swindler oc.jpg
An Orange County con artist, who posed as a wildly successful investor to lure $25.7 million mostly from Christians, received a 97-month prison sentence this week inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana.

U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna gave a handcuffed Jon G. Ervin the news and asked if wanted to make any statement.

"I'm fine," a solemn Ervin replied before a U.S. Marshal took him away.

In 2008, FBI agents busted Ervin's ponzi scheme that used his Mission Viejo-based Safevest, LLC and a Christian minister, Assemblies of God Rev. John V. Slye, to lure investment from more than 550 people who were led to believe they'd earn high rates of return, according to court records.

Among the fake props used were password protected accounts for the victims that seemingly recorded the profits of the investments.

In reality, the computer recordings were imaginary. 

Ervin funneled large sums of the money to family members and bought an expensive automobile, a home, restaurant meals, artwork, airline tickets, amusement park fees, groceries and clothes.

He also used the money to fund other questionable businesses and hired a white collar criminal defense lawyer.

According to the FBI, Ervin--who was born in 1947--even used the money to try to purchase Jones Creek Golf Club and International Golf Academy in Evans, Georgia.

The judge declared that Ervin's current financial plight coupled with a massive victim pool makes it "impractical" to require him to pay restitution.
Selna also told the white collar crook that he will undergo three years of supervised probation upon his return to society and must use only one bank account that is open to routine government inspection. 

He is banned from engaging in any future employment gigs relating to investments or telemarketing.

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My Voice Nation Help

I guess the church was irked that the guy was horning in on their turf.

Chris Roth
Chris Roth

Christian minister, Assemblies of God Rev. John V. "Slye"


Why do con artists repeatedly prey on the religious? Easy ... if you're willing to believe in some mythical guy in the sky, you're an obvious target for pie in the sky.

Richard Allen Cornelius
Richard Allen Cornelius

have not been here a week and you're already going on a date with a jewish gal to the nicest restaurant in huntington beach.

Mike MacDuffee
Mike MacDuffee

Seems like a small price to pay for 25mil, sign me up. I make 176,000$ in that prison time doing a job I hate. In white collar prison you get to read and workout all day, and you get your meals cooked for you. Then you get out to your money. ALSO, because of the retarded organizations that fight for prisoner's rights. I can get married and bang my wife from prison.

Mike MacDuffee
Mike MacDuffee

97 months? How many years is that? Why do people list in months, stupid. other than the 3 year probation, monitored single bank account, and ban from certain kinds of job.


I guess that makes this guy roughly 8 times worse than those rapists in Ohio then. 

vegandawg23 topcommenter

@JackGrimshaw This and they are an ingroup and tend to be more trusting of others they consider in their group. Despite their "We are all sinners in the eyes of god" rhetoric, they believe they are better/more moral than the rest of us. 

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