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Authorities in Orange County suspect that a Los Angeles-based group, which claimed to have the ability to cure the sick in Spanish-language infomercials, bullied and intimidated people into paying thousands for faith-based healing.
At least two Orange County residents may have been defrauded by Terapias Alternativas Aaron Inc., also known as Terapias Alternativas Angel Inc., according to a news release from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office issued on Oct. 31. It said the two alleged victims were conned out of their savings after watching the group’s infomercials offering alternative, faith-based healing on Spanish-language station KWHY-TV and reaching out to them for help.
Authorities said victims were directed to a location in either East Los Angeles or Montebello and told to pay $50 in cash for an initial consultation, according to the release. They were then taken to a room and told that they could be cured if they paid thousands of dollars for multiple spiritual healing sessions.
During meetings, people were told that their families would fall prey to evil spirits and possibly be either possessed or killed if they did not manage to pay for sessions, said the release. Investigators accused the self-purported healers of draining the savings of people who may have been too scared, desperate or embarrassed to object.
The Orange County District attorney’s office believes there may be other victims, and has asked them to contact Supervising Investigator Rick Bradley at 714-648-3667.
A Montebello address listed online for Terapias Alternativas Aaron Inc. currently houses a medical weight loss facility, and a phone number associated with the group had been disconnected. Representatives from KWHY-TV did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The investigation was continuing this week and so far no charges have been filed, a District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman said Wednesday.
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