PHOENIX (CN) – One church scammed another one into paying a $130,000 down payment for an online “university” that actually consisted of “nothing, no books, no records, no students, no websites, nothing of any value,” and no accreditation either, according to a complaint in Superior Court.
Phoenix-based “Church for the Nations” says it wanted “to expand its missions through education,” so it agreed to pay defendant Child of the King Ministries $400,000 for its American International University.
Defendants Brian Beckham and Thomas Beckham, of Kentucky, claimed their “university” had 275 students, a monthly cash flow of $15,000 to $30,000, and that its lowest-ever monthly income was $12,000, according to the complaint in Maricopa County Court.
The Beckhams claimed that “at or near the time of the closing of the transaction at issue there were 200 Korean students in California and 75 other students in Bullhead City, Ariz. of the university,” the complaint states.
The Beckhams also claimed, also falsely, that “AIU had joint accreditation with a number of universities, including the ‘London College of Higher Education'” – accreditations that were “necessary to establish the viability of the school,” according to the complaint.
So Church for the Nations says it ponied up a $130,000 deposit for AIU.
Come to find out, after the closing, that “defendants provided plaintiff with nothing, no books, no records, no students, no websites, nothing of any value,” the complaint states. “Therefore, there is a failure of consideration.
“To the extent that anything of value was to be given, nothing was. Indeed, defendants listed multiple accreditations that AIU allegedly had. However, following the purchase, none of these accreditations appear to be valid.”
Church for the Nations says that if “it had known that there were no students; or that there were few or no accreditations and that there was little or no cash flow, it would not have purchased the university.”
It adds that the defendants knew or should have known that they were selling moonshine because “they were in control of the books and records of the university and knew or should have known its student populations, accreditations, and/or income.”
Church for the Nations seeks rescission of contract, it wants its money back, and damages and costs. Defendant Child of the King Ministries is identified in the complaint only as a foreign corporation, and the Beckhams only as residents of Kentucky; their Jane Doe wives are also named as defendants.
Church for the Nations is represented by Douglas Drury with Mueller and Drury in Scottsdale.