Jesus and Judas kiss
John Baird, age 74, figured it out.
His travel business was called Christian Pilgrim Tours. He booked tours to religious sites in the Middle East and other holy places.
He advertised for his pilgrims in Catholic magazines, and would recruit priests and other religious leaders to help promote his trips.
Christians would tell other Christians about the great trip they were planning to go on, and others would sign up.
His customers would usually pay him for the full cost of the trip, in advance, by check.
Sometimes, through no fault of Mr. Baird, those trips would be cancelled.
And the refunds would be slow to be mailed out.
So slow that customers never received any refunds at all.
That's how 138 customers were bilked out of $400,000.
He blamed his attorneys:
"I had ineffective counsel... If they had done their job, I wouldn't be here today."The judge blamed him:
"You preyed on people who were poor, of modest means, who were vulnerable and elderly, and you lied to them."Mr. Baird was sentenced to five years in prison.
Admitted fraudster gets five years in prison for religious travel scam, Philly.com>>