Man to Return Millions of Dollars for Scamming People with Online Prayers

Man to repay money he got from fake prayer service

Man to repay money he got from fake prayer service

As part of an agreement with law enforcement officials, a Seattle (WA) man will pay back as much as $7.75 million for scamming people with a fake online prayer service. Attorney General Bob Ferguson said over 160,000 customers were victims of Benjamin Rogovy’s deceptive and unfair business practices in several companies he ran.

On two of Rogovy’s websites, he offered to pray for English and Spanish speakers if they paid between $9.00 and $35.00 for the prayer service. Rogovy also posted false testimonials and created fake ministers who he said would assist customers with religious ceremonies and would be   available for consultation. He also received monthly fees from customers who wanted to receive “continued blessings.”

The websites are now closed but one showed links to other prayer sites with which Rogovy is not affiliated. There was also a message on the website that read “We thank you for your prayers, and we cherish the opportunity to have created a place where Christians could meet to support each other.”

Ferguson said he believes in the power of prayer but will not tolerate the unlawful business that preys on people. He said Rogovy took advantage of the faith of his customers and their need for help in order to make quick money. Ferguson said Rogovy collected over $7 million from consumers between 2011 and 2015 and that Rogovy’s actions violate the state Consumer Protection Act.

The $7.75 million Rogovy is ordered to pay back includes the money he took from the customers, attorney costs, court fees and $1 million in civil penalties.

 

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