Calif. launches probe into scam targeting churches
California is investigating several companies suspected of bilking churches nationwide of hundreds of thousands of dollars through fraudulent computer leasing schemes, authorities said Friday.
State Attorney General Jerry Brown said as many as 30 Southern California churches may have been defrauded, with the same companies suspected of bilking other churches in as many as 10 other states.
The companies offered churches free computer kiosks that could serve as electronic message boards and generate advertising revenue, Brown said.
"Instead, churches were left with leases as high as $45,000 per year for what amounted to little more than desktop computers and printers housed in podium-sized wooden boxes," the attorney general's office said in a statement....