Customers say a minister preyed on them and then cashed in on their credit problems.
He called himself a man of God, his customers say.
Moshamba Cannon was a preacher with a message, a family, and a surprisingly secular side mission: to help consumers repair their damaged credit.
Customers of Cannon's Chicago-based company, Credit Care Pluz, say they paid big money to get help repairing their credit and were lured by his position as a pastor. But records indicate Cannon has a sordid past, and state officials maintain his company isn't legitimate.
"As the daughter of a minister, there's a certain standard that I expect from someone when they use that title," one customer, Gloria Jackson, told NBC5 Investigates.
"I felt that he was someone I could trust. I didn't think that a minister would be out to betray or deceive anyone," said another customer, Keesha Phillips.
The pair are among the customers who say they saw Cannon's pitch on Facebook, along with testimonials from happy customers, and decided to believe.
For about $350, both customers say Cannon told him he could use his company's "state of the art" coding process to challenge information on their credit report and get it deleted. Cannon's business ad claims he has a special process that forces the credit bureaus to prove they followed hundreds of regulations. If they can't, he says, his motto is: "If you can't prove it, you must remove it."
We asked Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to take a look at the flier for Cannon's business.
"When I first saw it, I thought 'coding'? What the heck is coding? Does this even refer to a legitimate process?" Madigan said.
Madigan said her office has never seen a legitimate credit repair organization.
"There's really only one thing you need to know about repairing your credit. You're the only one that can do that," Madigan said.
After our interview, Madigan's office launched an investigation into Cannon's business.
This comes as NBC5 Investigates found there is more to this man of the cloth than his customers knew. The person they hired to fix their history has a lengthy one of his own. His rap sheet includes identity theft in 2008, drug possession and three current outstanding warrants for his arrest in Illinois.
From his new home in Florida, Cannon disputed any knowledge of those warrants and called our questions "foolishness." Of his past, Cannon said "that was a long time ago." He said his company Credit Care Pluz is legitimate.
But the Illinois officials it's not and said the company never had a valid license to do business in the state. During her year-long fight to get her money back, Jackson says cannon admitted via text he hadn't done any work on her file.
"There's nothing that a credit repair company can do for you that you can't do for yourself," she said of the expensive life lesson.
Repairing her own credit is exactly what Phillips plans to do, as she continues to battle to get her money back from the man whose word she thought was gospel.
"I think it's really sad. I think he uses his position and his title in the church to manipulate people."
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