Virgin Mary Apparitions linked to Fundraising Fraud

12 Feb 2001

February 12, 2001

The Phillip Kronzer Foundation for Religious Research
Contact: Jonathan Levy , Esq.
Easton & Levy, Attorneys at Law

Email: legal@kronzer.org
Website: http://www.kronzer.org

Kronzer Foundation seeks Accountability from Religious Groups for Deceitful Fundraising in California

A California-based non-profit foundation for religious research has filed a lawsuit in the California Superior Court in the County of Sacramento against three national religious groups believed to have used deceptive fundraising methods to swindle thousands of California residents.

The suit, filed by the Phillip Kronzer Foundation for Religious Research, alleges groups from Alabama, Indiana and New Jersey have used alleged visions of the Virgin Mary and phony Papal Indulgences as a front to engage in money laundering, tax evasion, and smuggling, rather than its stated charitable goals.

Kronzer Foundation president Phillip Kronzer has dedicated his life to exposing the fraudulent and criminal activities associated with these types of groups.

“The Kronzer Foundation is dedicated to helping victims of religious fraud. This situation is one of the worst examples I have ever run across. My heart goes out to these folks. Families have been destroyed, children separated from parents, donors deceived, and the Catholic Church defamed.”

The suit alleges the Birmingham, Alabama-based Caritas orgainization engaged in fund raising and sales in California that were used primarily for the enrichment of its leader Terry Colafrancesco. The suit also alleges Caritas uses mind control, false promises, and other deceptions to extract money from donees in California. Other groups cited in the suit include two other groups known as Children of Medjugorje of South Bend, Indiana and the Children of War, of New Jersey.

Attorneys for the Kronzer Foundation have indicated that this suit is the first of many that the foundation plans to file to expose the religious fraud worldwide.

“Religious scams in California and elsewhere will soon realize that the [Kronzer] Foundation is one watchdog whose bite is definitely worse than its bark.” said attorney Thomas Easton.

Attorney Jonathan Levy said the suit is meant to send a message to frauds worldwide.

“I am a big supporter of the First Amendment, but money laundering and smuggling have nothing to do with religion and everything to do with greed,” said Levy. “Never in a thousand years would I have thought I would be involved in a case involving the sale of phony Papal indulgences over the Internet, it's an odd mixture of technology, tradition, and trickery.”

For more on the Kronzer Foundation visit http://www.kronzer.org


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