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An Overview of Religious Financial Fraud

Christian News Today

Ephesians 5:11 & Mark 4:22

EPHESIANS 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things
that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He
says: " Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light."
MARL 4:22 For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret
but that it should come to light.

An Overview of Religious Financial Fraud

The $34 Billion Scandal
The January 2011 issue of the International Bulletin of Missionary
Research reported that Christian religious leaders will commit an
estimated $34 billion in financial fraud in 2011 while $31 billion will be
spent on global missions. Researchers from the Center for the Study of
Global Christianity estimate that Christian religious leaders will commit
$90 million in financial crimes daily and the fraud is growing at a rate of
5.97% each year. If the researchers are correct, religious financial fraud
among Christians will almost double in 14 years to $60 billion annually by
2025. 1
Dr. David Barrett, the first editor of the World Christian Encyclopedia and a
researcher for the Center, has been studying religious financial fraud for
more than 20 years. According to Dr. Todd Johnson, the Centers
director, these statistics were the result of Barrett developing a
balance sheet for global Christianity. Barrett was trying to
understand the totality of Christian finance. 2
A Global Problem
Barrett and Johnson in the reference book World Christian Trends
Probably 80% of all cases are kept private or swept under the
carpet, but each year a rash of megathefts (over $1 million each) is
uncovered and publicized in the secular media. 3 Here is a small
sample of religious financial scandals from around the world:

Brazil: Bishop Edir Macedo, head of the Universal Church of the

Kingdom of God, and 9 of his associates have been charged with

An Overview of Religious Financial Fraud

embezzling more than $2 billion. 4

Canada: Televangelists Ron and Reynold Mainse allegedly recruited
investors in a Ponzi scheme. 5
China: A whistleblower goes to jail for speaking out after donations for
earthquake victims were stolen. 6
Italy: Police confiscated 23 million euros in a Vatican bank account as
part of an investigation into money laundering. 7
Ukraine: Pastor Sunday Adelaja charged with fraud in promoting a
business venture to his congregation that lost $100 million. 8
United Kingdom: Church treasurer Derek Klein embezzled funds to
pay for a stamp collection. 9
United States: Trent Huddleston, former senior accountant at Oral
Roberts University, alleges that more than $1 billion was money
laundered annually by members of the Oral Roberts University board.

Common Funding Sources of Religious Thieves

1. The Offering Plate In 2002 NBC Dateline aired an expos on
Benny Hinn. Mike Estrella, a former Benny Hinn Ministries employee
responsible for counting the money given at Hinns crusades,
said that he observed Gene Polino, Hinns CEO, embezzle
thousands of dollars from the crusade collection buckets.11
Wikipedia describes this practice as skimming which refers
to taking cash off the top of the daily receipts of a business
This form of fraud is hard to detect but occassionally the skimmers
are caught. A member of St. Ita Catholic Churchs finance
committee marked a $100 bill before placing it in the offering plate.
The bill disappeared before the church could deposit it in the bank. A
priest later acknowledged taking the money. 13
2. The Ministry Checking Account and Credit Card Jason
Reynolds, the finance director of National City Christian Church, used
the church credit card to acquire a Lexus SUV and Land Rover. He
also embezzled over $200,000 by writing himself checks. 14
These forms of fraud can be reduced by requiring two signatures
for checks and by insisting on lower credit limits for credit cards.
3. Investments In 1999 the Baptist Foundation of Arizona filed for
bankruptcy after accumulating $530 million in liabilities. Dishonest
administrators engaged in a cover-up to hide bad investments.
William Crotts and his associates set up more than 90 dummy
corporations to hide financial losses and used a ponzi scheme to
cover old investments.

An Overview of Religious Financial Fraud

New Church Ventures was the largest dummy corporation formed by
the BFA and held $173 million in debts. New Church Ventures had
zero employees and provided no funds for building new churches
even though that was its stated objective. 16
The Phoenix New Times investigated Jalma Hunsinger, the president
of New Church Ventures, and reported on strange insider deals and
flipped property fraud. The owner of the Simms Tower offered this
$1.9 million building to the BFA for $1 as a tax write-off because the
building was contaminated by asbestos. When the Foundation turned
down the offer,
Hunsinger acquired the building and used it as collateral for a BFA
$6.8 million loan. 17
Trinity Foundation Investigates the Televangelists
In 1987 filmmaker Harry Guetzlaffs production company was failing.
Out of desperation he pledged money to televangelist Robert Tilton in
hopes for a financial blessing. When Guetzlaff lost his home and
approached Tiltons organization for help, he was denied any assistence.
Guetzlaff went to the Trinity Foundation and told his story to Ole
Anthony, director of the Foundation. Anthony launched an
investigation into Tiltons direct mail operation and assisted the ABC
News program PrimeTime Live on a TV expos.18
The Trinity Foundation has investigated religious financial fraud for 23
years. Trinity investigators have gone through the trash of televangelists to
obtain evidence, worked undercover inside ministry offices, assisted TV
news programs and newspapers in developing investigative reports, and
operated a phone line for victims of fraud (1-800-229-VICTIM).
While conducting these investigations the Trinity Foundation has redefined
its mission. The Trinity board adopted a 4-point agenda for opposing
religious financial fraud.
1. Increase public awareness by continuing to provide information
requested by various news media organizations and giving
interviews when appropriate.
2. Enable the establishment of civil case law regarding religious fraud.
3. Enable the establishment of criminal case law regarding religious
4. Work with government agencies toward establishing
greater accountability for religious, non-profit
The IRS Dirty Dozen
The United States Internal Revenue Service posts an annual list of the

An Overview of Religious Financial Fraud

most common forms of tax fraud they encounter called the The
Dirty Dozen. In recent years the reports have singled out two specific
forms of religious financial fraud.

2008: IRS examiners are seeing an upturn in instances where

taxpayers try to disguise private tuition payments as contributions
to charitable or religious organizations. 20
2005: Participants apply for incorporation under the pretext
of being a
bishop or overseer of a one-person, phony religious
organization or society with the idea that this entitles the individual
to exemption from federal income taxes as a nonprofit, religious
organization. When used as intended, Corporation Sole statutes
enable religious leaders to separate themselves legally from the
control and ownership of church assets. But the rules have been
twisted at seminars where taxpayers are charged fees of $1,000 or
more and incorrectly told that Corporation Sole laws provide a
legal way to escape paying federal income taxes, child
support and other personal debts. 21

Common Forms Of Religious Financial Fraud

Churches Operating As Tax Shelters
The 2004 Internal Revenue Manual of the IRS noted that some churches
are being used fraudulently to avoid taxes:
While desiring to protect churches from undue interference by the
IRS, Congress, in enacting IRC 7611, recognized that an increasing
number of taxpayers had used the church form primarily as a taxavoidance device. 22
Realtor and banker George Michael of Lake Bluff, Illinois, claimed that he
converted his 15,000 square foot lakefront mansion worth $3 million into a
church so that his disabled wife would have a place to worship.
Michaels neighbors and local government officials claim the home was not
a church and that Michael was attempting to avoid paying more than
$70,000 in property taxes. After the Illinois Department of Revenue
granted a religious tax exemption, local officials went to court to have the
tax exemption removed and won in court on July 6, 2009. 23
Conversion and Self Dealing
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, IRS rules do not bar
transactions between a nonprofit group and a business that is owned or
controlled by the same person, a practice known as self-dealing. 24 Self
dealing is one of the key methods that fraudulent nonprofit executives
use to enrich themselves. Heres an example of how it works:

An Overview of Religious Financial Fraud

A televangelist owns a for-profit company that publishes all of his books
and DVDs. Then he sells the books and DVDs at full retail price to his
nonprofit rather than at a discount or wholesale price. A televangelist can
use this technique to excessively profit from his nonprofit organization.
Pastors Mike and Elaine Mill of White Dove Fellowship in Harvey,
Louisiana, purchased property costing $850,000 in August 2007 and sold
the property to their church about 90 days later for $1,229,112 for a profit
of $379,112. This transaction is not just an example of self dealing, it is
also flipped property fraud. After learning of the transaction, the Trinity
asked the IRS to investigate the Mills and White Dove Fellowship. 25
Excessive Compensation
Nonprofit organizations in the United States can lose their tax-exempt
status and be required to pay excise taxes if employees receive excessive
compensation. Yet this rarely happens. When the Charlotte Observer
investigated compensation for charity executives, it reported,
Most years, fewer than 10 of the nearly two million U.S. nonprofit
leaders are penalized for receiving excessive compensation. The
newspaper also noted that there is roughly one enforcement agent
for every 4,000 tax-exempt groups nationally so very few
nonprofit organizations get audited. 26
The Charlotte Observer reported that televangelist David Cerullo of The
Inspiration network was paid nearly 1.7 million in 2008.
However, the newspaper left out that Cerullo received $331,881 in
nontaxable benefits that year. 27
Cerullo has the highest compensation of any religious broadcaster in the
United States that files 990 forms with the IRS. Churches are exempt
from filing so some megachurch pastors and televangelists are refusing to
make their compensation public. Kenneth Copeland doesnt
disclose his income but has bragged that he is a billionaire. 28
In 1921 the United States federal government established a tax exemption
for ministerial housing expenses to help poor congregations provide housing
to clergy. 29
This exemption is now being abused to provide religious leaders with large
tax-exempt housing benefits. When Crystal Cathedral filed for bankruptcy,
its financial records revealed $832,490 in tax-exempt housing
allowances given to eight people 30
WFAA reported that Ed Young of Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas,
was paid $240,000 a year as a parsonage allowance; thats in
addition what sources say is a $1 million yearly pastors salary. 31
A lawsuit filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation could result in

An Overview of Religious Financial Fraud

this housing allowance being ruled unconstitutional in 2011.


Insurance Fraud
The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud produces a Hall of Shame list each
year to bring attention to insurance fraud. Pastor Gerald Rayborn was
featured on the 2004 list for burning down his church for $800,000. 33
Dennis Jay, the Coalitions director, reported in Claims Journal
that Rev. Roland Gray helped stage nearly 200 car crashes plus
phony slip-and-fall injuries in restaurants and hotels. He recruited
parishioners and even his brother, who also was a minister. 34
After obtaining seven life insurance policies for a blind man, pastor
Kevin Pushia hired a hitman for $50,000. Pushia plead guilty. 35
Fraud Among



Rabbi Saul Kassin, head of Americas largest Sephardic

synagogue, was arrested in 2009 with four other rabbis for money
laundering almost $3 million. 36
Salman Ibrahim established credibility among Chicago Muslims through his
involvement in the Shariah Board of America. Ibrahim formed Sunrise
Equities Inc., as an Islamic investment company, and paid dividends rather
than interest which is prohibit by the Koran. Investors lost $30 million when
Ibrahim disappeared from the United States. 37
Religious con artists have been effective at targeting Mormons, costing
their victims $1.4 billion. 38
Atheists arent exempt from religious financial fraud. William Murray,
son of Americas most famous atheist, Madalyn Murray OHair,
claims his mother embezzled millions of dollars from American Atheists.
A former employee of American Atheists supported Murrays claims
by revealing on the TV program City Confidential that he was told
what foreign bank OHair had deposited $18 million. David Roland
Waters, another employee of American Atheists, embezzled $54,000
and murdered Madalyn Murray OHair after she disclosed the theft
of funds.39
1 Todd M. Johnson, David B. Barrett, and Peter F. Crossing, Status
of Global Mission, 2010, in Context of 20th and 21st Centuries,
International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Vol. 35, No.1, page 29,
January 2011

An Overview of Religious Financial Fraud

2 Interview of Todd M. Johnson in June 2008
3 David B. Barrett and Todd M. Johnson, World Christian Trends, page
660, 2001
4 Brazil evangelical leader accused of fraud: Church founder
allegedly siphoned off billions to buy jewelry, businesses, AP,
August 12, 2010 link
5 Bene Diction, Ron Mainse of 100 Huntley Street makes
statement on alleged ponzi scheme, Bene Diction Blogs On,
September 15, 2009, link
6 Government Approved Church Leaders Withhold Donated
Quake Funds; Whistleblower Christian Sentenced, China Aid /
Christian Newswire, July 30, 2009, link
7 Nicole Winfield, Italian police seize $30M from Vatican in
probe, AP, September 21, 2010, link
8 Adrienne S. Gaines, Sunday Adelaja Accused of Supporting
Investment Scheme, Charisma, December 19, 2008, link
9 Aidan Mcgurran, Church fraudster told to sell off stamp
collection on web to pay back victims, London Mirror, April 19,
2008, link
10 April Marciszewski, More than $1 billion annually was
funneled through ORU, lawsuit claims, Tulsa World, February 7,
2008, link
11 Benny Hinn has millions of believers and millions in
donations,NBC Dateline, December 27, 2002, link
12 Skimming (fraud), Wikipedia, link
13 Priest indicted in Edgewater church theft , Chicago
Tribune, August 9, 2008, link
14 Del Quentin Wilber, Former church finance director charged
in theft scheme, Washington Post, December 30, 2009, link
15 Baptist Foundation of Arizona Wikipedia, link
16 Lawrence C. Mohrweis, Lessons from the Baptist Foundation
Fraud The CPA Journal link

An Overview of Religious Financial Fraud

17 Terry Greene Sterling, A Shaky Foundation: For the Baptist
Foundation of Arizonaand its baffling insider real-estate dealsthe
devils in the details, Phoenix New Times, April 23, 1998, link
18 Burkhard Bilger, God doesnt need Ole Anthony, The
New Yorker, December 6, 2004, link
19 Interview of Trinity Foundation member Pete Evans
20 Phishing Scams, Frivolous Arguments Top the 2008 Dirty
Dozen Tax Scams, IRS, March 13, 2008, link
21 IRS Announces the 2005 Dirty Dozen, IRS, February, 28, 2005,
22 Internal Revenue Manual 4.76.7 Church Tax Inquiries and
Examinations IRC 7611, IRS, June 1, 2004 (note: this section
was re-written in 2010), link
23 Linda Blaser, Judge Removes Religious Tax Exemption From
Shore Acres Drive Home, Pioneer Local, July 23, 2009, link
24 Ernie Suggs, King sons firm paid $1.3 million by center,
Atlanta Journal- Constitution, page A1, Date: May 20, 2005
25 Lee Zurkik, Criminal investigation into West Bank
televangelist?, WVUE, November 17, 2010 link
26 Ames Alexander, For too many nonprofits, charity starts
at the top, Charlotte Observer, December 20, 2009 link
27 The Inspirational Network Inc 2008 990, pages 7, 24 (available
at guidestar.org)
28 Kenneth Copeland is a billionaire, Google Video, link (video
from KCM Ministers Conference, January 23, 2008)
29 Robert Marus, House approves bill to protect
minister-housing allowances, Associated Baptist Press,
April, 19, 2002, link
30 Abby Sewell and Nicole Santa Cruz, Bankruptcy filings show
generous pay for relatives of Crystal Cathedral founder, Los Angeles
Times, December 3, 2010 link
31 Brett Shipp, Prominent Grapevine pastor linked to
luxury, WFAA, February 4, 2010, link
32 Stephanie Samuel, Church Legal Expert: Minister Housing Tax Break

An Overview of Religious Financial Fraud

Under Attack, Christian Post, December 29, 2010, link
33 Merritt Melancon, Two plead guilty in 2005 church
torching, Athens Banner-Herald, June 15, 2010, link
34 Dennis Jay, Fraud in the Church Takes Heavy Toll on
Congregation, Insurers, Claims Journal, August 23, 2010,
35 Pastor admits to scam and conspiring to kill blind man,
Scripps Media, August 28, 2010, link
36 Paul Vitello, Syrian Sephardic Communities Shaken by Charges
Against a Leading Rabbi, New York Times, ,July 23, 2009 link
37 Michael Tarm, Prosecutors: $30M Ponzi scheme targeted
Muslims, Associated Press, November 18, 2010 link
38 John L. Smith, How affinity fraud hurts LDS church
members, Mormon Times, September 14, 2010 link
39 Madalyn Murray OHair, Wikipedia, link


Prayer Palace pastor Paul
Melnichuk facing sex assault
Charges against flamboyant preacher relate
to two parishioners at mammoth Toronto
church that draws more than $3 million in
donations each year.
Paul Melnichuk attempts to cover his face while leaving the Ontario Court of
Justice with son Tom, right, at 1000 Finch Ave W. on Thursday.
By: Dale Brazao News, Katrina Clarke Staff Reporter, Alex Ballingall News,
Published on Thu Jan 08 2015

An Overview of Religious Financial Fraud

The flamboyant and controversial senior pastor of the Prayer Palace has
been charged with sexual assault involving a mother and daughter who are
parishioners at the mammoth evangelical church in northwest Toronto.
Paul Melnichuk, 80, known to parishioners as Pastor Paul, surrendered to
police Thursday morning, after being notified of a warrant for his arrest.
Police say the complainants are a woman in her 40s and a woman who is
younger than 20. Both were members of the church, founded by Melnichuk
and his wife more than 30 years ago.
The pastor is charged with five counts of sexual assault.
During a brief appearance at the Finch Ave. courthouse Thursday afternoon,
the lightly tanned pastor once described as a movie star and the religious
Mel Lastman or Ed Mirvish wore a black leather jacket and white collared
He smiled at his wife, Kathleen, 79 who sat flanked by son Tom and a
blonde woman as court officers removed his handcuffs.
A publication ban prevents the media from reporting what was said in court
and the identities of the two women.
Sitting in the prisoners box, Melnichuk turned his head away from his family
and looked to the ground as the Crown read out allegations against him. He
let out a deep breath and crossed his legs but showed no emotion.
The alleged incidents occurred between May and September 2014 on church
property when he was alone with the women, police say.
Three of the five charges laid against Melnichuk relate to allegations from
the daughter, the other two complaints from the mother.
Melnichuk was released on $20,000 bail posted by his wife.
When I first found out about the assaults, it was so hard to believe, a
person close to the alleged victims told the Star. He used his power to get
the family really close to him, to trust him, and when they least expected it,
he betrayed that trust, and he violated the family.
Melnichuk and his twin sons, Tim and Tom Melnichuk, both associate
pastors at the church, were the subject of a Star investigation in
2007 that focused in part on the wealth the family had garnered
while heading a largely poor, mostly black, congregation.
Information on The Prayer Palaces website says Melnichuk is the senior
pastor at the church. The mammoth building, at Finch Ave and Highway 400,

An Overview of Religious Financial Fraud

resembles a round spaceship with a large cross on the roof that can be seen
for miles.
Are you for real? exclaimed Hyacinthe Houghron, a longtime churchgoer
and Melnichuk admirer, when told of the charges. Houghron, who left the
Prayer Palace seven years ago for personal reasons, said she had never
heard any allegations of sexually related misconduct involving Melnichuk.
I dont even know what to say; this is a shocker to me. Im really surprised
to hear this . . . I just hope that hes not guilty.
At The Prayer Palace Thursday afternoon, a woman demanded Star reporters
leave the property. Parishioners outside would not comment on the
The 2007 Star investigation was part of an ongoing series on
Canadian charities and documented the Melnichuks lavish lifestyle,
which included a personal portfolio of fancy homes in Canada and
Florida valued at more than $12 million, and a fleet of fine cars.
Each of the Melnichuks owned a multimillion-dollar estate north of Toronto,
and they shared a Florida vacation villa. They and their wives drove a fleet of
luxurious cars, including a Porsche Cayenne SUV, a Lexus RX 330 SUV, and
Mercedes-Benz CLK 320 convertible.
The Star probe found that in 2005 the Prayer Palace drew $3 million
in donations while doling out a meager $9,443 to benevolent and
charity activities.
In the days following publication of the Star investigation, the Melnichuks
took to the stage in the mammoth church, which features coliseum-like
seating, preaching that their fortunes had been attained through hard work
and wise investments.
You werent designed to live in an apartment building. You were designed to
own the apartment building youre living in, Tom Melnichuk said, calling on
his parishioners to think positive. If you dont watch it, youll be eating at
Dennys for the rest of your entire life.
At the time his son Tom was giving the sermon, Pastor Paul Melnichuk was
relaxing in a million-dollar mansion in Bradenton, Fla., where the Star
photographed him suntanning on a dock on the Manatee River, under a large
carving of a pelican.
Upon his arrival back from Florida, Paul Melnichuk flashed a toothy smile and
dismissed the controversy.

An Overview of Religious Financial Fraud

Ive brought a little bit of Florida with me in my suntan, Melnichuk told the
assembled congregants. You can see my white teeth better . . . I want so
much to look like my congregation.
During the weekly Sunday sermons, which were televised and featured a
large gospel choir, Pastor Paul often urged worshippers to give generously if
they wanted the Lords blessings.
Whats a half million dollars to a congregation like this? Peanuts, Pastor
Paul thundered in one sermon, saying the money would go to funding an
evangelical explosion in Toronto.
Property records obtained by the Star Thursday show Paul and
Kathleen Melnichuk own three properties in Canada and as well as a
large home on a golf course in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., near Sarasota.
After selling their King City estate for $2 million in 2009, the Melnichuks
purchased a $1.3-million home at Lawrence and Avenue Rd. They then
bought home in a golf course near Sarasota in 2013 for $785,000, after
selling their Bradenton home for $1.1 million. The couple also owns a
property in Simcoe region, purchased in 1986 for $465.000, and a
waterfront property in Prince Edward County that they bought for $1.19
million in 2012, property records show.
As part of the bail conditions, Melnichuk must reside with his wife at their
Picton home or at The Prayer Palace.
According to tax information filed with Revenue Canada for 2013, The Prayer
Palace Inc. had a total revenue of $3,219,515 and expenses totaling
$2,996,511, the majority of which the church says was spent on charitable
More than one-third of expenses more than $1.1 million went to
compensation, with one unnamed person on staff taking in between
$200,000 and $249,000, according to the organizations charity return
The financial details are more or less the same going back to 2009 (the
earliest available), with the exception of 2010, when the Prayer Palace
posted $4.5 million in expenditures. More than $2.8 million of that went to
compensation, Revenue Canada records show, including two unnamed
people who were paid $350,000 or more that year.
On its website, the Prayer Palace quotes St. Pauls second letter to the
Corinthians in urging people to be cheerful when donating to the church.
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not
grudgingly, or of necessity, for God loveth a cheerful giver.

An Overview of Religious Financial Fraud

The church accepts PayPal.
At the end of the Thursday bail hearing, Melnichuk declined to answer
questions from the Star as he walked outside, with his son Tom leading the
way. The elder Melnichuk pulled his jacket over his head to in an attempt to
avoid being photographed while another member of the entourage put his
hand over a Star photographers lens.
He has no comment, said his lawyer.
Police believe there may be more victims and are encouraging victims to
contact investigators at 416-808-3100.
Is David Mainse An Unethical Scoundrel Like Benny Hinn?

The Evangelical Council Of Financial

Accountability Is A Joke
http://www.scribd.com/doc/17662575/The-Evangelical-Council-OfFinancial- Accountability-Is-A-Joke

Franklin's Purse
Charity: Controversy spurs Graham to give up one of two salaries | Warren
Cole Smith and Rusty Leonard
Franklin Graham has long had a reputation for being larger than life and going
his own way. His 1997 memoir, Rebel With a Cause, chronicled his prodigal
period and his return to God. Eventually, he made it to the top spots at both the
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and Samaritan's Purse (SP), a
Christian relief organization ministering to the needy around the world.
So Graham may now have a cause, but he never leaves the rebel far behind. In
1992, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) suspended
Samaritan's Purse while it investigated the ministry's finances. It was reinstated
in early 1993. In 2001, when he also took over as president of the Billy Graham
Evangelistic Association, nonprofit experts questioned the wisdom of Graham
being paid full-time salaries by both organizations. Ministry watchdog Ole
Anthony of the Trinity Foundation said, "It's ludicrous to think he could do two
jobs at that level."

An Overview of Religious Financial Fraud

This month, Graham and his compensation are back in the spotlight again. When
the Chronicle of Philanthropy released its annual list of the top-paid executives in
the nonprofit world, Graham appeared twice, at the top of the list for his salary
with BGEA, and only slightly farther down for his only slightly less hefty salary
with Samaritan's Purse. The two combined gave him a total compensation of more
$1.2 million (including expense allowances) for 2008 and made him the highestpaid
executive at a Christian ministry listed in the survey, and one of the highestpaid nonprofit executives of any kind.
The news created a media firestorm. BGEA's hometown newspaper, the Charlotte
Observer, devoted more than 3,000 words to the controversy in a front-page story
that was picked up by newspapers around the country. Graham himself stopped
giving media interviews. Instead, his public relations agency issued a defense of
the compensation, saying that "due to unusual reporting guidelines related to
deferred compensation placed in a 457(f) retirement plan at the BGEA over the
past four years, nearly half (44.8 percent) of Mr. Graham's 2008 compensation as
reported on the ministry's Form 990 had been previously reported on the 2005,
2006 and 2007
Form 990. This unusual reporting requirement meant that the BGEA had to
report three prior years' retirement contributions a second time in 2008.
Therefore, in reality, there was no substantial increase in Mr. Graham's
compensation in 2008."
That may be, but the same reporting guidelines also applied to others in the
compensation survey. The only real difference was that BGEA's contributions to
Graham's retirement plan were much larger than other organizations'
contributions to their executives' plans. Also, Graham's compensation in the years
2005-2007 was over $750,000at or near the top for Christian ministry
executives. Indeed, Graham's compensation was so much greater than the No. 2
religious executive on the list that, even without the double-counting, his
combined BGEA/SP salaries would still have put him at the top of the list.
So will all of this result in more scrutiny, or possible suspension, from the ECFA?
Almost certainly not. Dan Busby, president of the ECFA, also declined to be
interviewed by WORLD, but he too issued a statement in response to our
questions. His statement said, in part, that "nearly half of Mr. Graham's 2008
compensation as reported on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA)
Form 990 had been previously reported on the 2005, 2006, and 2007 Form 990.
This unusual reporting requirement resulted in the BGEA reporting three prior
years' retirement contributions a second time in 2008. Therefore, there was no
substantial increase in Mr. Graham's compensation in 2008." In other words, the
ECFA statement was almost a verbatim copy of the statement issued by BGEA
and Samaritan's Purse.

An Overview of Religious Financial Fraud

Busby's statement went on to say that "ECFA standards are based on the
principles of good governance, accountability, integrity and transparency, and do
not place dollar limits on the compensation of its members' leaders."
But Graham himself acknowledged that, despite the elaborate explanations, the
situation didn't look good. On Oct. 9, Graham told his staff via a memo that he
planned to give up his BGEA salary. His spokesperson, Mark DeMoss, said that
Graham had decided the controversy "just wasn't worth it." That means that
Graham will receive just one income, the one he gets from Samaritan's Purse
which in both 2007 and 2008 (including all benefits) exceeded $500,000.
There are some people who have this opinion that the Evangelical Council for
Financial Accountability is an honorable organization. But it is a fact that the
Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability doesnt exist for the
donors but for the Evangelical ministries to give them a so called umbrella of
legitimacy. That is why ECFA never discloses the salaries of any Evangelical
ministry leader to the donors which is a true test of why they are in the ministry!
The Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability came into being due
to the threats of Congressman Charles Wilson of Texas who had
introduced a bill that would have required disclosure "at the point of
solicitation unless the Fundamental Evangelical Evangelists would clean
up their own house and police themselves.
For Southern Baptist Evangelist Billy Graham was embarrassed in 1977 when the
Charlotte Observer discovered an undisclosed $23-million fund in Texas,
apparently not mentioned in the accountings of the Minneapolis headquarters of
the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
As a result Graham's business manager led the formation of the Evangelical
Council for Financial Accountability after Graham said on a national telecast, ". . .
there are some charlatans coming along and the public ought to be informed
about them and warned against them, " "stated K. Hadden and Charles E. Swann
in their book Prime Time Preachers.
Jeffrey K. Hadden and Charles E. Swann in their book Prime Time Preachers: The
Rising Power of Televangelism (1) stated:
In 1977 Senator Mark Hatfield informed a group of evangelical leaders that if they
did not assume responsibility for regulating themselves there was every likelihood
that legislation would be required. In fact, Congressman Charles Wilson of Texas
had already introduced a bill that would have required disclosure "at the point of
In December 1977 representatives of thirty-two evangelical groups met in
Chicago to discuss cooperative efforts. Thomas Getman, chief legislative assistant
to Senator Hatfield, told the group, "Legislation is not important; disclosure is."

An Overview of Religious Financial Fraud

Getman encouraged "a voluntary disclosure program . . . that will preclude the
necessity of federal intervention into the philanthropic and religious sector."
Almost two years later Dr. Stanley Mooneyham, president of World Vision,
acknowledged, "There is no denying that this threat of governmental action was
one of the stimuli'' that produced the December meeting and the subsequent
activities which led to the founding of the Evangelical Council for Financial
A tax exempt non profit organization and corporation, especially a religious one,
is not like a private company which exists for profit? Its revenues come from the
donations and gifts of ordinary individual some of whom have sacrificed to give to
them. For this is what many Evangelical Evangelists have requested 'their
sacrificial giving?"
Many Southern Baptists evangelists in America, such as Billy and Franklin
Graham, belong to the Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability that
purports to work on behalf of the donor but in reality exists for the spenders. For
although ECFA has in its possessions the total compensation of all the religious
evangelical non-profit organizations that belong to it, it will not disclose them.
Years ago I have requested such information from ECFA but to no avail.
Do your own homework on Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability which
Billy Graham founded.
It is a fact that Fundamental Evangelical leaders in America, even those
who belong to ECFA, never show their total compensation to their
donors. They are not stupid. If they disclose anything is just your basic
salary but not their personal income tax?
So to whom is the Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability
accountable to? To themselves? Definitely not to their donors or the
public as seen by their own words!
For the ECFA has as its Mission Statement that it is committed to helping
Christ- centered organizations earn the public's trust through developing and
maintaining standards of accountability that convey God-honoring ethical
Also its donor bill of rights states that its responsibility to make sure your
charity's standards and guidelines assure you of a "bill of rights" as a donor.
You have the right to:
1. Know how the funds of an organization are being spent.
2. Know what the programs you support are accomplishing.
3. Know that the organization is in compliance with federal, state, and
municipal laws.

An Overview of Religious Financial Fraud

4. Restrict or designate your gifts to a particular project.
5. A response to your inquiries about finances and programs.
6. Visit offices and program sites of an organization to talk personally with the
staff. Nothing in the donor's "bill of rights" talks about checking into illegal or
unusual expenses or salaries? But ECFA states that it wants to earn the
public's trust through developing and maintaining standards of accountability
that convey God-honoring ethical practices.
A simple examination of ECFA seven standards of responsible stewardship
shows that it gives nothing to the donor or the public to ensure that there
is no hanky-panky other than their word. Unfortunately as shown by the
BFA bankruptcy the word of Southern Baptists doesn't mean much!
An excellent way to determine responsible stewardship of any ministry that
belongs to ECFA is to see the personal income tax of the chairmen of each of the
nonprofit organizations who belong to ECFA. One can easily see if an individual
is profiting from their own indirectly owned non-profit religious organization?
Why is it important to know the salaries of religious leaders? The downfall of
Evangelist Rex Humbard says why.
From its modest $65 beginning, the Rex Humbard Ministry was now worth
millions. And was all paid for by private contributions. Still, like those of many of
his fellow television colleagues, Rex's ministry appeared ever on the brink of
bankruptcy. On his April 13, 1980, broadcast he made an impassioned plea for
immediate cash contributions needed to stave off disaster. The program was
$2.5 million behind in its obligations, and Humbard was running an average of
four months behind in payments to stations for TV time.
Humbard's appeals brought in $4 million and wiped out the debt. About the
same time, a Cleveland Press writer discovered that Rex and two of his sons,
who work with him on the television ministry, had purchased a home and
condominiums in Florida valued at $650,000 with down payments of
$177,500 in cash.
A lot of people have long believed that preachers, especially the evangelical
variety, have their hands in the offering plate. In light of this belief, the timing of
Humbard's corporate debt and personal investment certainly didn't make him
look very good. And he didn't help his own cause any when he told the prying
Press reporter, "My people don't give a hoot what I spend that money for
But people do give a hoot how much money their favorite minister steals and that is
why ministers especially prominent ones hide their salaries. As a result of Rex
Humbard's thievery his ministry folded because people and even God does not like
crooks in the House of God.
If you check out the latest form 990 - 2002 for Billy Graham Evangelist
Organization available from Guide Star http://www.guidestar.org/search/ you will

An Overview of Religious Financial Fraud

see that Billy Graham is just as much of a crook as ever. At 88 years of age he is
still receiving a hundred percent salary of $ 189, 385 and $ 233,979 for other
allowances and is working less than ten percent of the time! The same with Clifford
B. Barrows who is receiving $ 164,442. They both should have been put out to
pasture a long time ago and should have stopped taken a salary that they have not
And yes Billy used his organization to support financially his children including $
600,000 to Franklin Graham, $ 210,000 to Ned Graham and $ 300,000 to Ann. Ned
Graham who was originally slated to take over Billy Graham Evangelist
Organization instead of Franklin received less money because he is the black sheep
of the family. What gave Billy Graham the right to take money donated to preach
the gospel to give to the support of his family especially Ned Graham? Nothing!
Jeffrey K. Hadden and Charles E. Swann in their book Prime Time
Preachers stated:
Billy Graham was embarrassed in 1977 when the Charlotte Observer
discovered an undisclosed $23-million fund in Texas, apparently not
mentioned in the accountings of the Minneapolis headquarters of the
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. As a result Graham's business
manager led the formation of the Evangelical Council for Financial
Accountability after Graham said on a national telecast, ". . . there are
some charlatans coming along and the public ought to be informed about
them and warned against them."
In my opinion Billy Graham has raised up two sons Ned and Franklin who are as
deceitful as their father. Ned Graham, the son of Billy Graham, Southern Baptist
minister, president East Gates International, a group that distributes Bibles in
China told Christianity Today in an interview that he had abused alcohol and spent
an "inappropriate amount of time" with two women on his staff.
Grace Community Church, Southern Baptist Convention, in Auburn, Washington-which counted Ned Graham, his wife, and their two sons as members established
the fact that Ned Graham was an adulterer, alcoholic, wife abuser, and drug user
and revoked Graham's ministerial credentials. It directed Graham to stop using
the title reverend.
Yet in a style reminiscent of Jimmy Swaggart, who refused to be defrocked by
the Assembly of God denomination, Ned Graham left that congregation for
another church.
Most of the staff and board members of East Gates International resigned amid
controversies. East Gates, in Sumner, Wash., withdrew its membership in the
Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability after Ned replaced the board
members with his sister Ruth Graham McIntyre, brother-in-law Stephan
Tchividjian, and business leader Peter Lowe.
Graham's sister Gigi Tchividjian has joined the office staff and Ned Graham
continues as East Gates president. The ECFA the self-policing organization Billy

An Overview of Religious Financial Fraud

Graham helped start requires that a majority of board members not be related by
blood or marriage, which is no longer the case for East Gates. Nepotism is alive
and well in Evangelical ministries?
A December East Gates fund-raising letter included a note from his father saying
that "Ruth and I are proud of and grateful to God for our son Ned." East Gates
has distributed 2 million Bibles to Christians in China, Billy Graham said,
encouraging Christians to "back this unique and effective ministry."
It is interesting to see the most famous "evangelist" (some say) not being able to
educate his children, especially Ned. At the same time, having a bunch of socalled Christians following the leadership of such wreckless person. Franklin
Graham wears jeans, boots, denim shirt, and leather jacket. He was a teen rebel
who drank, smoked, fought, and led police on high-speed chases. He was kicked
out of LeTourneau College. He used to be a rebel and a 'bum' got religion and
become more sophisticated and formed "the Samaritan's Purse' so that he can fly
around the country and charge things to his non-profit corporation. As a result
his ministry, Samaritan's Purse, had a run-in with the Evangelical Council for
Financial Accountability. The ECFA suspended Samaritan's Purse while it looked
into Franklin's (Graham) compensation and use of the company plane.
Although Billy Graham encourages religious leaders to be open about their
salaries and publish their finances none of the Grahams reveal their total
compensation nor release their personal income tax as President Obama does
and former Presidents Bush and Clinton have done. It's the law of the land that
all non profit chairman of corporations must reveal their total salary and that
Billy, Ned and Franklin do not to their donors speak volumes of their hypocrisy?
Yes, Jesus told us to beware of hypocrites like Dr. Billy Graham and ECFA.

News from the past:

News & Record reported on June 15, 2005 that Billy Graham
statue unveiled
GREENSBORO -- Southern Baptists, citing his work in bringing people to
Christ, unveiled a statue Wednesday that honors the Rev. Billy Graham,
the world-renowned North Carolina evangelist. The bronze statue was
shown as the Southern Baptist Convention neared the end of the annual
meeting. It depicts Graham with his mouth open and arms outstretched,
a Bible in hand. A cross towers over him.
But News & Record didnt report that Billy Graham is still a crook,
is deceived about his adulterous friend Bill Clinton, told the Whooper of
the Century, believes Jews to be Satanic, is friends with liberals who are
off the wall, lied about his health, is a false prophet who doesn't tell the
truth about anything.
The following facts are undeniable and true:

An Overview of Religious Financial Fraud

1) Billy taking 100 % salary at 87 years of age and working less than
10 percent
2) Billy being a friend of Nixon and a bigot against the Jews
3) Billy writing a letter to Nixon to bomb the dykes of North Vietnam
4) Billy unsure that heaven is a right place for him
5) Billy's unconditional support of Clinton and his forgiveness of Clinton
6) Billy using a Ghost writer to write his books
7) Billy formed ECFA to protect his interests and cook the books
7) Billly supporting a son, Ned, who was a drunk, adulterer, immoral
and had no integrity
8) Billy gave his ministry to Franklin who is as deceitful as his father and
a bum and a thief


In 1987 Oral Roberts testified before Congress. His comments are included
in the Memo to Grassley. This is an official Senate Finance Committee
From pages 27-28
It is telling that the witnesses at the 1987 Hearing representing religious
organizations required to file information returns were uniformly supportive
of the Form 990 filing requirement. Oral Roberts did not see self-policing by
a voluntary accreditation agency like the Evangelical Council for Financial
Accountability (ECFA) as an adequate substitute to filing reports with the
IRS.90 (Note that Oral Roberts University became an ECFA member in
2009). Asked whether his ministry was a member of ECFA, the Rev. Roberts
We were invited to be a member of that but we believed there was no
teeth in it; and I think that has been proved by the PTL thing. Ours was so
much stronger; our auditing procedures and our filing of the [Form] 990
every year. We have a corps of auditors. Anybody in the United States
can get a copy of our [Form] 990 report at any time, by writing the IRS; it
is available to the media, to everybody in America. Why wouldnt all file a
[Form] 990 why? I have no objection at all. In fact, if it will help, if there
is a loss of confidence, let us do something about it.
link to document:

An Overview of Religious Financial Fraud



Walter hosting blog radio on Jan 31 exposing Benny Hinn and the
Roberts http://cdn5.blogtalkradio.com/show/1/461/show_1461365.mp3

Televangelists Pass Senate Probe,

But New Commission Formed
Friday, 07 January 2011 http://tinyurl.com/2fbjmn3
Sen. Church Grassleys probe into high-profile television ministries
may be over, but the ranking member of the Committee on
Finances investigation has led to the formation of a new commission on
accountability and policy issues for churches and other religious
Grassley reviewed the activities and practices of six media-based
ministriesJoyce Meyer Ministries, Kenneth Copeland Ministries, Creflo
Dollar Ministries, Bishop Eddie Long Ministries, Benny Hinn Ministries, and
Paula White Ministriesand found no wrongdoing.
One of the six ministries, Joyce Meyer Ministries, responded fully to
Grassleys inquiry and joined the ECFA in March 2009. Benny Hinn
of World Healing Center Church also provided complete answers to all
questions. Four ministries either did not provide any information or
provided incomplete information, according to the Senators office.
The tax-exempt sector is so big that from time to time, certain practices
draw public concern, Grassley says. My goal is to help improve
accountability and good governance so tax-exempt groups maintain public
confidence in their operations.
Grassley then asked the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability
(ECFA) to lead an independent, national effort to review and provide input
on major accountability and policy issues affecting such organizations. The
ECFA created the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious
Organizations in response.
The commission aims to address some of the most challenging tax and
policy issues involving religious organizations, such as whether churches
should file the same highly-detailed annual information return that other
nonprofits must file (Form 990); whether legislation is needed to curb

An Overview of Religious Financial Fraud

abuses of the clergy housing allowance exclusion; whether the current
prohibition against political campaign intervention by churches and other
nonprofits should be repealed or modified; and whether legislation is
needed to clarify tax rules covering "love offerings" received by some
"ECFA is honored and humbled to be asked by Senator Grassley to lead the
independent effort to obtain input from the religious and nonprofit
community on these issues," says Michael Batts, a CPA with extensive
experience in board governance, financial reporting and tax compliance
issues for nonprofit organizations. Batts been appointed by ECFA's board to
chair the commission.
"The conversation that will ensue in the coming months will focus on the
significance of the issues raised by the senator's staff and effective ways to
address them. It is our hope, as well as the senator's, that solutions will be
found without the need for burdensome legislation that creates excessive
entanglement between the church and the government. One obvious area
that will be explored carefully is the concept of self-regulation."
Batts, who is also a managing shareholder of Batts Morrison Wales & Lee,
PA, an Orlando-based accounting firm dedicated exclusively to serving
nonprofit organizations and the former chair of the board of ECFA and is
currently a member of ECFA's board and executive committee, says a
variety of groups will be consulted in the work of the commission. The
commission has not yet determined a timetable for the completion of its

BENNY HINN THE SCOUNDREL https://www.scribd.com/doc/17673980/
Benny Hinn Exposed NBC DATELINE

An Overview of Religious Financial Fraud


Rodney the Fleecer http://tinyurl.com/343w372

Dangerous Dominionsts http://www.scribd.com/doc/38649037/
An Overview of Religious Financial Fraud
Criminals/Perjurers/Thieves http://tinyurl.com/2ch3vba
Wolves in Sheep's Clothing http://tinyurl.com/38kcbq6
Third Wave Dangerous, Deceptive And Demonic
False Holy Spirit Conference http://www.scribd.com/doc/35527597/
Signs, Wonders & Miracles http://www.scribd.com/doc/33782544/
Lakeland-Revival http://www.scribd.com/doc/34189317/
Laughing Clark http://www.scribd.com/doc/35148050/
DAN STRADER IS NOT INNOCENT http://www.scribd.com/doc/33762241
Wealth Transfer Theology Is Demonic
FAILED PROSPERITY http://tinyurl.com/35msnwl
HAPPENED? NOTHING! http://tinyurl.com/5tht7ds