A new lawsuit is accusing a megachurch in Ohio of deceiving an elderly dementia patient.
CBS Chicago reports that Grace Cathedral, a megachurch based in Akron, Ohio, is being sued for swindling 76-year-old Illinois resident Bridget Pollard out of $340,000. Allegedly they told her her that she would be get to spend eternity in paradise if she sent them money.
The lawsuit against the church is being brought by the Cook County Public Guardian, which has been tasked with caring for Pollard and which is trying to recoup her money.
“She was basically stalked by church to give money,” Dawn Lawkowski-Keller of the Public Guardian’s Office explained to CBS Chicago. “The literature talks about how you’ll go to heaven if you give this money.”
The 76-year-old who lives in a nursing home on the North Side of Chicago, has been diagnosed by doctors with bipolar disorder and dementia, who also say that she lacks the capacity to make financially sound decisions.
Her niece, Bridget Johnson, tells CBS Chicago that she’s appalled that anyone could take advantage of an elderly woman with a mental illness this way.
“I’m very sad for my aunt, that she spent all these years she thought she had a good friend, and a church she believed in, and this was all done in the name of God,” she said.
Cleveland.com reports that Grace Cathedral was also sued last month for $3 million for a defaulted loan that was taken out by the church’s broadcasting network.
Grace Cathedral Pentecostal evangelist Ernest Angley promised the Beck Energy Corporation that his church would personally repay them if the church’s WBN network was unable to repay a $3.6 million made in 2013. However, the company never received any payments from Grace Cathedral even after WBN defaulted on the loan.