LOS ANGELES (CN) – Televangelist Creflo A. Dollar and his son Jeremy stole a multimillion-dollar text messaging business concept that spreads “the Word,” a Marina del Rey-based business claims.
The Giant Killers sued the Atlanta-based Dollar and his World Changers Ministries in Superior Court. Co-plaintiff Devone Lawson claims that in March 2005, before the worldwide texting explosion, he and his company proposed to Dollar and his ministries a way to generate $50 million a year by sending out “devotional” text messages.
Lawson says he entered into a nondisclosure agreement with Dollar, in which several aspects of the proposal were agreed upon, including subscription price, division of revenue, and details on how to execute the plan – then Dollar pulled out of the deal.
Lawson claims that after Dollar’s staff appeared to have lost interest, he learned that Jeremy Dollar had created Global Mobile Solutions to market and distribute the “devotional” texting service. The service was named “Word on the Go.”
After repeatedly confronting the Dollars and making no progress in resolving the situation, Lawson says he was ignored altogether.
Dollar’s Word on the Go charges subscribers $4.99 a month – $1 more than Lawson had proposed and the maximum amount allowed by the Federal Communications Commission, according to the complaint.
The Wall Street Journal in November 2007 published an article on an investigation led by Sen. Charles Grassley into six megachurches, one of which was the World Changers Church. The article focused on the “Prosperity Gospel,” in which “ministers who espouse the prosperity theology promote themselves as conduits for God’s blessings, saying that believers will reap benefits as long as they give generously to the ministries.”
Dollar responded with a letter defending his “deeply held set of religious beliefs.”
Defendants in the Superior Court complaint include World Changers Church International, World Changers Ministries, Creflo Dollar Ministries, Global Mobile Solutions, the two Dollars and three other individuals.
Lawson demands an injunction, accounting, and damages for breach of contract, fraud, conspiracy and unjust enrichment. He is represented by Jeffery B. Valle and Steven M. Ragona.