Blind faith got devotees into deep waters when a fake priest abused his powers in the church to scam people into funding his personal purchases. Since some followers suspend judgment upon entering the holy grounds, the priest was able to manipulate victims into handing over millions for various splurges such as premium llamas.
Priest Ryan Scott was accused of being deceitful for three decades when he was caught offering his holy services to baptisms, weddings and confessions. He traveled around the Midwest of the United States, preaching and profiting from naive believers. When people exposed his schemes, he would flee the city and move on to a new area to target.
Scott used the faith of God as a pawn to brainwash people into passing along their money in the form of donations. He was an impressionable figure as he told lies with a strong conviction that people believed him till it was too late.
Legal documents exposed Scott’s false identity by revealing that he “is not now and never has been ordained.”
Alex Schuman, a podcaster and journalist, investigated the conman and his findings were that Scott wasn’t even a priest. Schuman said: “Father Ryan did this for about 30 years, traveling the Midwest, opening different churches. It’s not like he shows up in town and hides himself.
“People described being really impressed by him. They felt that God was in the room while he was up at the pulpit preaching.” Transactions with this god-like figure didn’t end troubles for many people; the followers left the church feeling hopeless and disheartened following the fraud.
Scott didn’t practice what he preached; he “conceived out of wedlock” and he abandoned his son who is living proof that his words and actions don’t align. The conman had converted a care center in Buchanan, where he kept 20 Argentine llamas, claiming they would be part of a new healing ministry.
After being released from prison, Scott announced that he will be retiring and sent out donation requests for a church in Portugal. Someone’s got to pay for his retirement funds.