Orange County prosecutors on Wednesday issued a public warning about a “faith healing” organization under investigation for allegedly targeting the Latino community and conning victims out of their savings.
The Los Angeles-based business operates under the names Terapias Alternativas Aaron and Terapias Alternativas Angel is seeking out victims across multiple counties through infomercials and newspaper ads promising to cure diseases, the O.C. District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
Then, after victims paid for consultation, the company would demand additional cash, telling them they would otherwise fall prey to “evil spirits,” officials said.
“This is unconscionable fraud that targets the desperate and the sick,” DA Tony Rackauckas said in a statement. “The victims should report this without feeling embarrassed.”
Business records on the California Secretary of State’s website show Terapias Alternativas Aaron was incorporated in 2013 in East Los Angeles, and Terapias Alternativas Angel was incorporated in South Gate last October. One is registered under the name Jore Juarez, and the other Jorge Juarez, both of Pico Rivera.
A Facebook business page for Terapias Alternativas Aaron also lists an address in Montebello.
The victims told investigators that they suffer from various medical conditions that cause joint and other types of pain. Then, they saw infomercials on Hispanic TV station KWHY in which a person named Aaron purports to be a clairvoyant with the ability to cure disease.
After calling the phone number provided, they were directed to an address either on Pomona Boulevard in East L.A. or Whittier Boulevard in Montebello, where they met with a Latina woman and paid her $50 for a consultation, prosecutors said.
Then, they were led into another room, where a Latino man told them he could heal them, if they paid him thousands of dollars in cash, according to the DA’s office.
If subsequents visits were made more money was demanded, and the victims were told of “evil spirits” that would take over their children and kill them if they failed to pay up, officials said.
The victims said they weren’t given any receipts.
Eventually, they gave information about their financial status to a man, who continued to demand tens of thousands of dollars. But in the end, they were cut off from the clairvoyants without being cured, prosecutors said.
Those who sought the services reported seeing several people in the businesses’ waiting rooms, and investigators believe there could be additional victims who have yet to come forward.
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