A new lawsuit against Chicago’s Moody Bible Institute says that the non-profit is targeting elderly people in order to get their money when they die.
While non-profits frequently ask older donors to include the group in their wills, the lawsuit claims that a Moody representative got 89-year-old Hazel Turner to sign over her entire estate even though she wasn’t of sound mind:
[Caretaker Lisa] Higdon says she started getting suspicious in 2013 when an institute representative began making frequent visits to Turner’s Brookhaven home.
“I asked him specifically not to meet with her about that (her will/trust) unless we were present,” Higdon said.
“[Turner] said, ‘What do you mean?’ I said, ‘Well you signed your property over to a trust for Moody,’ and she said, ‘I would never do that,’ and I said, ‘You did,’” Higdon said.
This could become a class action lawsuit if more victims are willing to sign on. To be clear, Turner had given them money in the past, but there’s a difference between a regular donation and “here’s everything I own.”
Moody Bible Institute said this case has no merit, but they also didn’t say they would rip up whatever contract Turner signed as a friendly gesture.
“The Lord said feed my sheep. He didn’t say fleece my sheep and what this looks like is some people fleecing some elderly adults,” said John Melvin, a deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney for Cobb County.
Wouldn’t be the first time a church has taken money from people by convincing them it’s the right thing to do.