The museum in Washington D.C.—launched in 2017 by Hobby Lobby chief Steve Green—was plagued from the outset by a number of scandals involving stolen artifacts. Now it been revealed that one of Green's evangelical benefactors has been charged racketeering and fraud.
In the same year the museum opened its doors, faith-based Hobby Lobby paid a $3 million fine in a Justice Department settlement for not exercising due diligence in acquisitions. The judgment directed the forfeiture of 5,500 clay tablets and other illegally imported items to the Iraqi government.
Later, the man who launched the $500 million museum—Hobby Lobby’s godly Steve Green—admitted that he’d had dealings with “unscrupulous” people.
Now it’s been revealed that one of those people was Sung Kook “Bill” Hwang, who has been indicted for racketeering conspiracy, securities fraud, and wire fraud offenses committed when he headed an investment firm called Archegos Capital Management, which collapsed losing around $20 billion—in two days!
Christianity Daily reports that Hwang was known as the biggest benefactor to Evangelical churches through the Grace and Mercy Foundation that he founded.
He has given $591 million to dozens of Christian organizations since the foundation’s founding in 2006, according to IRS Form 990s filed through the end of 2018.
Among them was The Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., which received $2.4 million.
Millions were allocated to Christian humanitarian charities, such as Hope for New York and the Bowery Mission.
Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, which became mired in scandal after it emerged that the late Zacharias abused massage therapists in the U.S. and abroad for more than a decade secured a whopping $3.3 million from Hwang.
Christianity Daily added that Hwang and his co-conspirators lied to banks to acquire billions of dollars they used to artificially inflate the stock price of several publicly-traded companies. They invested in stocks through special contracts with banks and brokers known as “swaps,” which allowed Hwang to cause massive buying of certain stocks on carefully selected days and times to falsely elevate stock prices.
They used manipulative trading techniques to keep stock prices high and prevent them from plunging. After one year, Hwang turned a $1.5 billion portfolio and fraudulently inflated it into a $35 billion portfolio. Then suddenly, prices fell off and billions of dollars of capital dissolved nearly overnight.
In 2012, when he headed Tiger Asia Management, Hwang, pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges and paid a total of $44 million to settle criminal and civil charges.
In a 2018 appearance at the 2018 Yonsei University Conference on Faith & Work, Hwang claimed that he based his investment strategies on his understanding of the Bible, and came to the realization that “God likes setting a fair value.”
Charged alongside Hwang over the collapse of Archegos Capital Management are three others, including Patrick Halligan, Archegos’s Chief Financial Officer.
God is not mentioned in the indictment.