California Attorney General Kamala Harris sues promoters
Scammed Black churches
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris filed a lawsuit today seeking restitution and civil penalties of more more than $800,000 for an alleged scam against 33 Black churches in Southern California.
Promoters promised that leased computer kiosks would enhance the experience of parishioners, but churches ended up with large debts, according to Harris.
The Attorney General's complaint, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, names Television Broadcasting Online Ltd., Urban Interfaith Network, Willie Perkins, Michael Morris, Wayne Wilson, Tanya Wilson, Balboa Capital Corp. and United Leasing Associates of America Ltd.
The complaint alleges violations of the state's unfair competition and false advertising laws, and seeks restitution, civil penalties and an injunction to prevent any further illegal activities.
Representatives of the defendants could not be immediately reached.
"This was a cruel and hypocritical scheme,'' said Harris. "The perpetrators preyed on institutions of faith. Let this be a lesson to others who may look to defraud our community organizations: You will be caught and you will be held accountable.''
The Attorney General's complaint states that defendants Television Broadcasting Online, Urban Interfaith Network, Willie Perkins and Michael Morris "engaged in a nationwide scam'' in which they persuaded the operators of 195 Black churches in 15 states to enter into "expensive and onerous leases for shoddy computer equipment housed in wooden cabinets.''
By 2006, the scam reached California, where 33 African American churches were persuaded to enter into leases for the kiosks, Harris said. Twenty-four of the churches are located in Los Angeles County, five in Riverside County and four in San Bernardino County, according to the suit.
Wayne and Tanya Wilson live in Rancho Cucamonga. Balboa Capital Corp. is located in Irvine. United Leasing is based in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Urban Interfaith Network Inc. and Television Broadcasting Online are in Oxon Hill, Md.
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris is seeking restitution and civil penalties totaling $803,100 in a scam that defrauded 33 African American churches in Southern California of thousands of dollars on bogus computer kiosks.
Promoters promised that the leased kiosks would enhance the experience of parishioners, but the scheme ended up creating big church debts.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A cousin of Stevie Wonder and a female co-defendant were sentenced Monday to 292 days in county jail after pleading no contest to charges that they tried to extort millions of dollars from the singer.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William C. Ryan also ordered Alpha Lorenzo Walker, 38, to attend mental health sessions at least twice a week during his three-year probation.
A lawsuit brought by Michael Jackson’s former dermatologist—who alleges a plastic surgeon falsely implied in a media interview that the skin specialist had a hand in the singer’s death—may be settled in mediation, according to attorneys.
Dr. Arnold Klein sued Dr. Stephen Hoefflin in September 2009 in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging slander, trade libel, false light, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress and unfair competition.
Rev. Gregory Alexander, from left and seated at piano, demonstrates and talks with Cliff Unruh of the Hammond Suzuki Corporation central business office, Ya Beniya (a Hammond Suzuki sales officer), Shuji Suzuki (president of Hammond Suzuki Corporation Japan) and Rev. Edward T. Robinson of Trinity Chapel Life Center in Compton, about how the Hammond organ is used in Black worship services. Suzuki, manufacturer of the Hammond, recently visited Compton churches to see first hand how the instrument is integrated into Black churches. Rev.
Another negligence lawsuit has been filed against Los Angeles Unified School District in which additional former Miramonte Elementary School students allege they were victims of lewd acts by a teacher fired in January.
Parents of about a dozen ex-Miramonte pupils brought the suit on behalf of themselves and their children in Los Angeles Superior Court. The complaint also alleges intentional infliction of emotional distress and names all seven members of the LAUSD Board of Education, as well as Superintendent John Deasy.