The Securities and Exchange Commission Friday announced charges against the founder of a “Left Behind”-themed video game manufacturer and his friend, a prison ministry pastor, for scheming to falsely inflate the company’s revenue by nearly 1,300% in a one-year period through sham circular transactions. The SEC also suspended the company’s stock.

The SEC alleges Troy Lyndon, who serves as the CEO and CFO, caused Left Behind Games Inc. to issue almost two billion shares of stock to Ronald Zaucha as purported compensation for consulting services to the California-based company.  A shell company, Lighthouse Distributors, was formed to purchase false inventory, the SEC contends.

SEC spokespeople say the true purpose of the arrangement was to enable Zaucha to sell millions of unregistered shares of Left Behind Games stock into the market and then kick back a portion of his stock proceeds to the company to prop up revenue at a time when it was in dire need of additional funds. Nearly $5 million are involved in the purported fraud.

The SEC’s complaint was filed late Thursday in a Hawaiian federal court. Lyndon lives in Honolulu and Zaucha in Maui.

According to the SEC’s complaint, Left Behind Games was founded in 2001 and touted itself as “the only publicly-traded exclusive publisher of Christian modern media” and “the world leader in the publication of Christian video games and a Christian social network provider.”  However, financial troubles caused the company to terminate all of its employees and close its office at the end of 2011. See the SEC press release.