LOS ANGELES (AP) — The state of California is seeking to recover some $800,000 that it says was defrauded from 33 African-American churches in Southern California in a computer-kiosk leasing scheme.

The attorney general’s office said Monday it sued four companies and four individuals, two of whom are serving prison sentences in Michigan in connection with the nationwide scheme.

The Superior Court lawsuit says the defendants persuaded churches in 2006 to enter into expensive leases for shoddy computers housed in wooden cabinets, promising that advertisers would make the lease payments on the kiosks.

When churches failed to make the payments, the leasing companies sued to collect the money.

Defendants Tanya and Wayne Wilson of Rancho Cucamonga, who allegedly pitched the deal to California churches, could not be immediately reached for comment.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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