Posted on September 13, 2013 at 6:33 PM
Friday, Sep 13 at 6:40 PM
Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl
AMITE, La. -- The "Ride2Freedom" program has been pitched online and on flyers across the country. The deal requires a consumer to send $85 through PayPal to the program based in Florida, in order to receive a voucher worth between $3,500 to $5,500 that could be used to buy a car.
St. Louis, Mo. resident Haronda Jenkins didn't hesitate to sign up.
She said, "I'm thinking it’s a legitimate program because it’s a faith-based program also, and that I would apply for the voucher and I would be sent to a local car dealership and possibly get a vehicle."
But that voucher never showed, and efforts to find out what happened were unsuccessful, leaving Jenkins without the car she was hoping for and without the money she put up for it.
"Apparently I've been scammed," she said.
The organization is registered under Rosia Duncan, who lives in Hammond. Duncan runs the House of Prayer ministry, which the program's website says its affiliated with.
"My name is in Florida, on that organization,” said Duncan, “And I was calling her last week. I said I want my name off of that organization."
Duncan says the real person behind the program is Chrisheena “Chris” McGee, who actually identified herself as Chris Malachi in emails to program participants. Duncan claims McGee ran the alleged scheme from Duncan’s ministry and used the organization as a front for it, all behind her back.
Duncan said, “I can't believe it. Like something out of a horror movie."
McGee has a history of arrests for theft and worthless checks, and Wednesday, she was booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail for computer fraud, monetary instrument abuse and identity theft in relation to this alleged scam. Detectives say she is under further investigation for wire fraud. The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office plans to take on every "Ride2Freedom" case it learns of, from anywhere in the country, since the program stemmed from there.
McGee is still in the Tangipahoa Parish Jail with a $30,000 bond.
The state Attorney General’s Office and federal authorities could also get involved in this case. If you’ve had a similar experience with the “Ride2Freedom” program, contact the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office.