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Harold Camping's Rapture Campaign: Can He Be Sued for Fraud?

As an atheist group asks the California attorney general for action, legal scholars say efforts are almost certainly doomed.

The end came, albeit two days late, for hundreds of Family Radio billboards across the nation May 23. While the tear-down of the apocalyptic billboards marked a conclusion to Family Radio's public ad campaign, private donors remain frustrated with the organization's use of their funds. The $100 million campaign, which centered on ads that read, "Judgment Day, May 21: the Bible guarantees it," was funded in part by contributions from hundreds of donors. Most of the funds came from the sale of a television station and a radio station, a Family Radio spokesman said. But some donors sacrificed their life's fortunes, even jobs, in anticipation for the "guaranteed" end and are now in dire financial straits; others are simply frustrated and in search of recompense. With millions of dollars in family estates, wills, and personal funds pledged in support of a now defunct prophecy, is there any legal recourse for donors?

If history is any indication, it would be difficult, if not impossible for a ...

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