Religious Fraud in the U.S.
The Trinity Foundation is dedicated to rooting out religious fraud. Far from being an anti-religious organization, it is a Christian organization seeking to police the industry.
Here is the answer to their most frequently asked question: “How much money is involved in religious fraud?"
According to the respected academic journal International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Christian religious leaders alone will commit an estimated $59 billion in financial fraud in 2017 — compared to the $53 billion spent by Christians on global missions. Another estimate from the Center for the Study of Global Christianity (from 2011) says Christian religious leaders commit $90 million in financial crimes daily, and the fraud is growing at a rate of 5.97% each year. The International” Bulletin also estimated, ecclesiastical crime among Christians will hit approximately $80 billion annually by 2025.
There was no link to the article or its methodology. I suspect the estimate is conservative. Even so, $59 billion is not chump change, especially when you consider that much of it comes from victims who are far from well off.