Fenty Wants Civil Rights Investigation in Alleged Church Scam

WASHINGTON -- D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty is asking the Justice Department to open a civil rights investigation against companies accused of defrauding dozens of black churches.

The city has filed a lawsuit accusing the companies of approaching congregations in D.C. and elsewhere and offering free computer equipment to increase their outreach.

But the churches unknowingly ended up agreeing to make lease payments totaling more than $50,000 for inexpensive equipment that often didn't work.

Besides D.C., churches were targeted in Maryland, Texas, California and other states.

It's "unconscionable" to target churches whose funds are used to feed the poor and help others in need, D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles said.

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