Church stoked tithing with unemployment scam, ex-members say - FOX Carolina 21

Church stoked tithing with unemployment scam, ex-members say

Posted: Updated:
Screen shot of the Word of Faith Fellowship church from AP video (Courtesy: AP) Screen shot of the Word of Faith Fellowship church from AP video (Courtesy: AP)
SPINDALE, N.C. (AP) -

By MITCH WEISS and HOLBROOK MOHR
Associated Press

Former members of an evangelical North Carolina church say their leader coerced congregants into filing false unemployment claims after the faltering economy threatened weekly tithes from church-affiliated companies. The members say company owners who were leaders in the Word of Faith Fellowship church would file unemployment claims on employees' behalf, but that the employees would continue working.

Eleven former followers told The Associated Press that they participated in the plan. They estimated that the fraudulent claims would have drawn payments totaling in the hundreds of thousands of dollars between 2008 and 2013.

State officials say such claims would be illegal, and the former congregants said they had been interviewed by state and federal investigators.

The unemployment allegations were uncovered as part of the AP's lengthy, ongoing investigation into the church, based in Spindale, North Carolina.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly
Fox Carolina
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, WHNS; Greenville, SC. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.