Former “First Lady” of Alexandria church pleads guilty to money laundering

 

Date: December 11, 2020

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Alexandria, VA — An Alexandria woman pleaded guilty today to money laundering in connection with a scheme to defraud members of a Christian organization, announced Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).

According to court documents, Brenda Millender was the wife of Pastor Terry Millender and the First Lady of Victorious Life Church in Alexandria. Terry Millender created a company called Kingdom Commodities Unlimited (KCU), which marketed itself as a Christian organization that was looking for investors to provide financing to help facilitate and broker Nigerian oil sales. Individual investors provided money to Terry Millender from 2013 to 2016 based on his false and fraudulent representations about how their money would be used, as well as material omissions about how funds would be disbursed.

Millender had access to various KCU bank accounts and she received cash from those accounts which had the effect of concealing the source and use of those funds. In some cases, checks written from KCU accounts had false and misleading descriptions on the memo lines, such as referencing the repayment of loans or office expenses, when in fact the person receiving the check had not loaned any money to KCU, was not an investor to KCU, and was not involved in KCU's operations.

Millender is scheduled to be sentenced on April 21, 2021. She faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jamar K. Walker and Kimberly R. Pedersen are prosecuting the case.