By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinator
Bill Gothard, who resigned last year from the Institute for Basic Life Principles (IBLP) on account of sexual abuse and harassment charges, is not the only member of the Gothard family to face accusations of illegal activity. Florida State Attorney General Pam Bondi filed a lawsuit last December against Gothard’s brother, David Locke Gothard. The lawsuit alleges that David engaged in racketeering and fraud, stealing millions of dollars from his victims — primarily elderly people — by means of a Ponzi scheme. According to Naples Daily News,
The state’s lawsuit alleges that since 2003, David Locke Gothard and his companies engaged in racketeering and other illegal activity in Florida that continues today. The defendants transferred patents between themselves, solicited investors by using false representations about patents, their “alter ego” companies and products, which produced no sales, the lawsuit says, alleging they then created bogus documents to operate a “patent assertion entity,” collecting millions in illegally-obtained funds.
Roger Nixon, an alleged victim of David’s Ponzi scheme, told Naples Daily News that David used his brother Bill’s ministry — IBLP, which created a popular homeschooling curriculum, the Advanced Training Institute (ATI) — to attract potential targets. Nixon says Gothard defrauded him out of his entire savings:
“He’s defrauded us out of our life savings,” said Nixon, adding that he lost $285,000 after meeting Gothard through his church a decade ago. “We’re flat broke. We didn’t have hot water for a year.” Nixon said Gothard used his brother’s church ministry “to lure victims in the name of Christianity.”… “David Gothard makes Bernie Madoff look like a kid playing in a sandbox,” Nixon said.
This is not the first time that David Gothard has been in trouble with the law. He was sentenced to 2 years in a California prison in 1986 for illegally selling over a million dollars in securities. David is also not the only Gothard brother to be in trouble. Another brother of Bill’s, Steve Gothard, was accused in the 1980’s of sexually preying on his employees.