Lawsuit alleges church’s money was mismanaged

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Christ Church Cathedral is an historic church that sits on Monument Circle. The church, steeped in local history, is the same place where pharmaceutical industrialist Eli Lilly Jr., was baptized.

Eli Lilly Jr. even created a trust to keep the church in downtown Indianapolis for the foreseeable future.

Now, a lawsuit alleges JP Morgan Chase violated that trust.

According to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court of the Southern District, JP Morgan Chase is accused of making risky, complicated and questionable investments with the church’s money.

The church currently has about $31 million in the trust. Attorneys for the church estimate the trust should be valued at about $44 million.

Church administrators keeping track of the trust noticed the losses and contacted Attorney Linda Pence.

“They were very wise and smart that something was wrong. The value of the trust was not increasing as it should,” said Pence.

In the complaint, it is alleged JP Morgan Chase made investments and decisions to benefit itself and not the church’s trust.

“This is a breach of trust, this isn’t about selling a financial product,” said Pence.

Because of the losses, the church has been forced to reduce payroll, cut ministries, and reduce contributions to charities.

“We just want to minster to those in need, we have been hurt in our ability to do that,” said Reverend Stephen Carlsen of Christ Church Cathedral.

A spokesperson for JP Morgan Chase declined to comment on the complaint. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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