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Tag: Arson

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Cameron Banks Arrested For Burning Down His Church

pastor cameron banks

Wednesday,Cameron Banks, pastor of The Abundant Faith Lighthouse of Jesus Christ in Conway, South Carolina,  was arrested and charged with burning down his church.

ABC-15 reports:

The leader of a Conway church was arrested Wednesday for intentionally burning down his church.

Cameron Julius Xavier Banks, 32, of Georgetown, is charged with obstructing justice, second degree arson, burning personal property to defraud insurer and making a false insurance claim to obtain benefits for fire or explosion loss.


The fire was determined to have been intentionally set, by means of an open flame and combustible material.


Banks was the pastor of the church, but there had only been one church service held at the location in approximately 2 years.

Banks said that the church was being renovated and that he purchased the building from The Refuge at First Pentecostal Holiness Church for $328,400.

The pastor of The Refuge acted as the “bank” on the mortgage, according to the affidavit.

Banks was notified on May 25, 2016 that the lender was going to start foreclosure proceedings after Banks defaulted on his loan.

In early July 2016, Banks purchased an insurance policy for the church for $1.6 million.

On July 14, a church member reported to Conway police that an “unknown person” was supposedly sleeping in the church. The incident report states the report was made for insurance purposes, in the event of a fire.

On July 25, one day after the fire, a Conway police officer tried to reach Banks to get a statement about the fire and who had access to the church. Banks would not return any of the phone calls. Lionel Lofton, Banks’ attorney, later told the officer that Banks would not be meeting with police.

On Jan. 12, 2017, Lofton contacted the officer and said he had very important information regarding the fire. According to a report done by the attorney’s investigator, a woman claimed there were text messages between a dentist and an unknown person that showed the dentist offered to pay $10,000 to the unknown person to burn down the church.

When the officer investigated the claims and got a warrant for the dentist’s phone, there were no calls or text messages between him and the unknown person.

According to the affidavit, there were dozens of calls between the woman making the claims and Banks on two different cell phones.

Police say the entire claim was fabricated in an effort to cast the blame for the fire onto the dentist.

On March 1, 2017, police searched Banks’ home and cars. Computers, cell phones and several hundred documents were seized, including a “rough draft” of the investigative report provided to his attorney.

There were also notebooks where Banks had “written several dozen questions that would possible be asked by law enforcement during the course of an arson investigation.”

The woman admitted to police that she gave them false information regarding the text messages because she was in love with Banks.

Banks was arrested on May 24.


Banks is also known as Reggie Staggers, according to an affidavit with Banks’ arrest warrants.


WMBF News reports:

A Georgetown pastor accused of burning down a Conway church last summer is now facing federal health care fraud charges.

According to a press release from U.S. Attorney Beth Drake, Cameron Banks, 32, was charged in a seven-count federal indictment connected to an alleged scheme to submit fraudulent loan applications for dental services.

The maximum penalty the suspect could receive for each count is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.


Bruce Gerencser