A story is being reported by the New York Post this morning that a man conned dozens of families through the illusion of summer camps that turned out to be non-existent. Parents had paid up to $1,000 for their kids to attend the faux camp.
According to the New York Post, a man, who claims to be a pastor at a Georgia church, devised an elaborate scam where he'd created a bogus summer camp. The suspect advertised a summer of fun which included trips to Six Flags and Chuck E. Cheese. The program was designed to be nine weeks long.
Approximately 40 families signed their kids up for the camp. It wasn't until parents brought their children to the designated drop off points that they realized they were conned when informed by those employees at the locations that there was no camp at the location. There were seven pick up locations in all. Purportedly, the con man did show up at one of the locations, but had no permits for the "disorganized gathering".
"I felt so bad because they said they paid $800 or $1,000 for their children to be here all summer and there was no camp,” an employee at one of the bogus drop-off sites, St. Anthony’s Baptist Church in Crown Heights, told the NY Post.
The kids had been looking forward to water parks and pizza.
This incident happened in July, but the Brooklyn's District Attorney's Office is reportedly investigating what the Post described as a "flood of complaints" against the man, who has been identified.
"Camp Vision Now" was a website that promoted summer activities and used the online deal website, Living Social, to promote the program. The online deals site said it was going to refund parents the money they'd spent on the faux camp.
The man, of Atlanta, Ga., alleged with the crime reportedly pleaded guilty in 2010 to a different scam which involved collecting rental deposits for already occupied apartments. He also pleaded guilty to larceny charges in Georgia last year.
There was no report on the details of the current case being investigated.
Earlier this year, another pastor in Atlanta had devised a separate summer camp fraud which scammed both parents and job seekers.