“Felon” Keller in bed with pornographers.

12 Apr

Liveprayer Bill Keller has a far more business-like arrangement with the outfit that handles his real-time webcast. Candid Hosting in Tampa runs Voyeur Dorm, a Tampa website that allows people to watch the day-to-day lives and sexual goings-on of a group of young women.

A deal with the devil? Keller has a soundbyte ready: “In Genesis 50 it says, ‘What man meant for evil, God meant for good.’ That was really the verse that gave us the comfort to go ahead with it. The only thing we really asked of them was ‘Please don’t mix up our feed with your feed.'”

He lets out a chuckle and then launches into a diatribe about the destructiveness of pornography.



Then came a fateful dinner with a couple of old acquaintances from the brokerage world. They were investment bankers with knowledge of pending corporate takeovers. They set up a deal: The brokers would give Keller information about companies that were about to be bought up; he would buy gobs of their stock via an off-shore account. When news got out about the acquisition, the stock would skyrocket, Keller would cash out and the insider trio would split up the spoils.

Keller was on a plane for the Cayman Islands the next day. For a few months, the scam worked beautifully. (He says that compared to the Michael Milkens of the time, he was just a little fish.) But the Drug Enforcement Administration had set up a sting operation to catch crooks laundering drug money in the Caymans. With him making about three trips a month there, he quickly showed up on the DEA radar. When the narcs found out that Keller was not involved in the dope trade, they turned the case over to the Securities Exchange Commission, which brought a civil suit against him.

After a few months of legal scrums, the SEC referred the case to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for criminal charges. Keller remembers the scene well: It was chilly in Chicago on Oct. 12, 1989. His lawyer had told him to be at the U.S. Attorney’s office for a meeting. Keller was running late, so he had his limo driver pull up on the sidewalk in front of the federal building. He emerged from the back seat, draped in a mink coat, 45 minutes late.

“I never actually sat down,” Keller recounts. “We shook hands and the U.S. Attorney looks at my attorney and says, ‘If Mr. Keller cooperates we can probably work out something in the range of six months.’ I looked at him and said, ‘It’s been nice meeting you. One day, when you’re as good as me, we can talk about something else.'”

Ten days later, Keller left for a Florida vacation. He insists he did not go on the lam. Brazenly, he failed to leave a contact number with his lawyer, so he was not aware he’d been indicted. On Dec. 17, 1989, Keller was lounging around a friend’s Pensacola Beach condo, sipping a snifter of Louis the 13th cognac, waiting for the pizza delivery man and Monday Night Football to come on, when he answered a knock at the door.A bevy of U.S. Marshals, with a helicopter hovering overhead, pushed Keller to the floor, handcuffed him and tossed him in the Escambia County Jail. On the day after Christmas, he was shipped back to Chicago, where a judge pegged him a flight risk, denied him bail and remanded him to the city’s Metropolitan Correction Center.

On the night of Aug. 20, 1990, Bill Keller lay on his jailhouse cot thinking about his wife. “She had visited me that day and told me that no matter how long I was in jail that she was committed to our marriage and would stay with me,” he says. “She had every reason in the world to leave me. I had not been a very good husband. I thought about how she loved me so unconditionally and that’s the moment that I thought, ‘If my wife of flesh and blood could love another person to that degree, how much more must God love me?’ That was really what caused me to break down and wholly and unconditionally surrender my life to him.”

Keller soon copped a plea with the authorities. From November 1990 until August 1992, he did what he calls “Club Fed” time at the Federal Prison Camp at Saufley Field near Pensacola. Keller spent a good deal of his sentence working on his education. “It was like the seminary I should’ve gone into 10 years earlier,” he says. Keller earned a B.S. in biblical studies from Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. He was ordained by Spiritual Life Concepts, a non-denominational seminary in Largo.

Def, Dumb and Blond, the FELON KELLER story

The article is reproduced in accordance with Section 107 of title 17 of the Copyright Law of the United States relating to fair-use and is for the purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.


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