HOUSTON – Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell pleaded not guilty Thursday to accusations that he and another man defrauded investors of $3.4 million.
Caldwell will remain free on an unsecured $250,000 bond. A federal judge in Shreveport, Louisiana, made the ruling at a hearing that lasted 16 minutes Thursday afternoon.
Caldwell, senior pastor at Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston, and Gregory Alan Smith, a former broker and financial planner, are facing nine violations from the Securities and Exchange Commission out of Louisiana.
The judge reminded Caldwell and Smith of their rights. Both pleaded not guilty.
Caldwell and Smith surrendered their passports. They agreed to appear in court and not to travel internationally. They were ordered not to have any contact with victims in the case.
"We're looking forward to our day in court, when we can actually go forward and present our defense," Caldwell's attorney Dan Cogdell said Thursday. "We believe in our hearts and in our souls that the jury is going to do the right thing at the end of this trail and acquit Pastor Caldwell of all charges."