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Nation IN BRIEF : PENNSYLVANIA

Man Sentenced in Huge Charity Scam

September 23, 1997|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A man who said he suffered delusions that he was doing God's work was sentenced in Philadelphia to 12 years in prison for running the biggest charity scam in U.S. history. "This is a very sad day for someone who rose to such influence and promise," U.S. District Judge Edmund V. Ludwig told 60-year-old John Bennett Jr., head of the now-defunct Foundation for New Era Philanthropy. The charismatic former drug counselor got 500 nonprofit organizations and some of the country's wealthiest philanthropists to entrust $354 million to him by promising to double it in six months.

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