WEST PALM BEACH (CN) - Christian Crossroads, a so-called debt management service, lured customers with promises of a Bible-based "spiritual and lifestyle education," took money in advance and kept taking it, but failed to perform the most basic services, the Florida Attorney General claims in court.
Florida sued Point B. Inc. fdba Christian Crossroads, and their owner and president, Lillian Morton, in Palm Beach County Court.
"As part of its marketing strategy, the defendants engaged in a systematic pattern of conduct designed and intended to induce consumers to pay the defendants upfront and continuous fees for its debt reduction and/or debt management services via a series of false and fraudulent misrepresentations," the attorney general says.
"As part of its debt reduction and/or debt management services, the defendants represented that their services 'provided to the member comprehensive spiritual and lifestyle education and coaching services, including but not limited to a thorough assessment of the member's current lifestyle goals and spiritual practices.'
"The defendants represented to consumers that the defendants' debt reduction and/or debt management program was based upon Biblical principles, and defendants provided 'The Four Foundations of Financial Freedom' and other readings to consumers purportedly based upon the principles of the Bible to induce consumers to utilize their services.
"Consumers using the defendants' services were required to make monthly predetermined payments to the defendants which the defendants represented would be forwarded to the consumers' creditors.
"However, on information and belief, once the defendants received the consumers' signed contracts, initial up-front fees and/or recurring required monthly fees, the defendants, in many instances, failed to even contact the consumers' creditors regarding the reduction and/or management of the consumers' debts.
"Additionally, on information and belief, the defendants withdrew funds from consumers' bank accounts without proper authorization and failed to pay refunds due to consumers who requested that their debt reduction and/or debt management services be canceled. Also on information and belief, defendants failed to provide the promised 'comprehensive spiritual and lifestyle education and coaching services' that lured consumers to engage defendants debt management services."
Florida seeks permanent dissolution of Point B and any fictitious names associated with it, including Christian Crossroads, civil penalties, an injunction and restitution.
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