LDS Church returning over $200k in tithes received from convicted swindler

OGDEN, Utah (AP) Settlement papers show Mormon church leaders agreed to return more than $202,000 in tithes paid by a man convicted of bilking investors out of more than $142 million. Federal court filings show Val Southwick gave the money to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints between 2001 and 2006. In 2008, the LDS Church Corporation of the Presidency agreed to return the money as part of a Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement action. Spokesman Scott Trotter says the church has a policy of not profiting from alleged ill-gotten gains. Southwick is serving nine consecutive prison terms of one to 15 years for securities fraud. A Salt Lake City law firm is trying to recover and liquidate Southwick’s assets for victims.

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