The Holy Love Ministry sits in a cornfield west of Cleveland. It is built upon the relationship between an otherwise ordinary woman and Mary, The Mother of God. Followers believe Mary visits on occasion and often sends signs, much like She does at Fatima or Lourdes. Pilgrims come from all over the world to witness and pray.
The Ministry is not poor. Donors have financed a beautiful Chapel and other buildings on the grounds. In fact, donors from Mexico City have been so generous that the Cardinal of Mexico City called on the Vatican to apply some muscle and shut Holy Love down. Rome called Cleveland. Cleveland paid a visit to Holy Love. (I’ll write about that later, but it is not a coincidence that the country that produced the Vatican also produced the Mafia.)
Holy Love put its building fund into a credit union. A thief (The CEO of the Credit Union), looted hundreds of millions of dollars, including over $1,000,000 in Holy Love money. When Holy Love found out about the theft, and before the Government took over the looted credit union, Holy Love went to withdraw their money. That was their right. In fact, the Government was assisting some people in withdrawing money and structuring accounts. That way, when the Credit Union was shut down, they would not lose their money.
That did not happen to Holy Love. The Government lied to Holy Love. They told them that they had to wait until over the weekend to get their money. There was a rumor that Holy Love was under investigation. No one ever said what the investigation was about. Just a rumor- nothing ever came of it. But over the weekend the Government shut down the Credit Union and locked up all of the money that was left.
And Holy Love was out more than $1,000,000.
I had represented them in their fight with the Vatican and the Diocese, so they came to me for help.
Easy case. It was their money. They went to take it out, but the Government did not let them. The Government lied to them to stop them from receiving their own money. The Government did so because of a baseless rumor. The Government had no right to the money. Surely The Government would come to its senses and give the money back.
The Government did not come to its senses. The Government refused to give the money back. Suit was filed. The Government fought the lawsuit.
And they did so by using a uniquely American defense.
THE MISREPRESENTATION EXCEPTION
You see, you can only sue The Government if The Government allows you to. That is called Sovereign Immunity. There is more. You are not allowed to sue The Government if The Government lied to you. That is called THE MISREPRESENTATION EXCEPTION. The Government’s defense was; “Yes, we took the money-we shouldn’t have taken it-it wasn’t ours to take- and we won’t give it back. But, we lied about it so you can’t sue us.” Honest to God, that is what they said. And they won.
The case is on appeal, we’ll see, but one thing is for sure.
The game is rigged.