Houston megachurch pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell insists bonds he sold are legitimate

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Local community reacts to news of Kirbyjon Caldwell's indictment, Erica Simon has more. (KTRK)

Even as his freedom hangs in the balance, Houston megachurch pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell, hasn't wavered. Those who know Caldwell call him a righteous, generous and kind man.

Caldwell insists bonds he sold are legitimate, and his attorney says he absolutely believed the bonds were worth more than he sold them for.

Caldwell is accused of defrauding people of millions using phony Chinese bonds.
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Despite the recent charges pressed against him, Pastor Caldwell says he plans on preaching on Easter Sunday.



In an exclusive interview with ABC13 Friday morning, Caldwell and his attorney insisted that the pastor invested a significant amount of his own money, and even personally refunded nearly $1 million to anyone who was unhappy with the investment.

"Every single person who has asked for their money back has gotten their money back," Caldwell's attorney Dan Cogdell said at a press conference.

WATCH: Learn more about Kirbyjon Caldwell
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Ted Oberg has more about Houston megachurch Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell.

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Lawyer for Houston megachurch pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell addresses fraud charges today



Cogdell said they wouldn't answer detailed questions, but promised they will 'beat this case like a rented mule.'

Caldwell added that he plans to preach on Sunday.

Those in the community are standing by him.

'I AM ABSOLUTELY INNOCENT': Houston pastor accused of defrauding investors of $3.5M speaks out
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Houston pastor accused of defrauding investors of $3.5M speaks out



"He's everything. He's a leader, he's a supporter, he's an encourager. He prays for us, he covers us and so in return, that's what we're here to do for him," Sherri Barrett said.

Howard Jefferson, a NAACP board member, said he doesn't believe Caldwell had any malicious intent.

"I don't believe he had an intent. If something happened, he didn't have all the facts. Talking about he been scamming folk, I think folks scammed him," Jefferson said.

Full interview with Pastor Kibyjon Caldwell
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Houston pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell insists bonds he sold are legitimate



On Thursday, Cogdell had released a statement saying:
"Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell is a religious leader who has been falsely accused. He trusts the legal process completely but most importantly his faith. He will be absolved. We look forward to trying this case in the court of law."

Caldwell has been indicted on fraud charges.

Court papers state that the 64-year-old pastor and investment advisor Gregory Smith sold nearly $3.5 million in worthless pre-revolutionary Chinese bonds to the elderly and vulnerable investors.

The indictment alleges Caldwell and Smith never paid investors back but instead kept them on the hook with frequent investor calls and promises of payback. Both men face years in federal prison if convicted, and could be made to pay back millions and forfeit a home the pastor owns in Houston.

Court filings suggest he used money from the alleged investment scheme to pay the mortgage on it.

Caldwell is the senior pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church. He has a congregation of more than 16,000 people.

He once served as one of President George W. Bush's spiritual advisors. He even presided over Jenna Bush's wedding.

Caldwell is also a limited partner with the Houston Texans.

The Texans organization is still investigating these allegations.

SEE ALSO: Houston megachurch pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell indicted for wire fraud and money laundering
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