Man who bilked Mainers in energy scam by preying on religious beliefs sentenced

Posted Jan. 13, 2012, at 6:34 p.m.

GARDINER, Maine — Securities officials say a man who bilked investors in Maine in an energy scam by preying on their religious beliefs has been sentenced to 12 years in jail.

Maine Securities Administrator Judith Shaw said Friday that James Rivera was sentenced in a federal court in California.

Rivera last year was convicted of wire and phone fraud in connection with a scheme that defrauded investors, including several in Maine, out of more than $1 million.

Shaw said Rivera gained investors’ confidence by claiming they could trust him because he shared their religious faith. He operated his schemes under names including Almighty Wind and Apostles Inc.

One Brewer couple lost $30,000 to Rivera.

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