These are actually RICO violations:
Prosecutors say Covington and McKinny decided to lay off employees at one of Covington's businesses so they could collect unemployment benefits in 2008 when the company was struggling financially. But the employees continued to work at the company, Diverse Corporate Technologies. They later put the scheme into place at Covington's other business, Integrity Marble & Granite. Covington then implemented a variation of the scheme at Sky Catcher Communications Inc., a company he managed, prosecutors say.
After starting the scheme at Diverse Corporate Technologies, Covington, McKinny, Whaley and others "promoted variations of the scheme to other businesses," the court filing said. "These conspirators promoted the scheme as a way for (the church) community businesses to weather the financial downturn," the document said.
Seriously, this is straight out of a Soprano's episode. The only thing missing are the dead bodies of those who either betrayed the family, or were so crazy they jeopardized the smooth operations of the scam. But I have no doubt that once this religious house of cards collapses, bodies will be found somewhere on the premises. This is actually election-related, too, because Ralph Hise has been providing cover at the state level for this criminal cult, and David Wheeler has been dogging his and the cult's footsteps for months now:
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein has dismissed trespassing charges filed against North Carolina Senate District 47 candidate David Wheeler, former sheriff's candidate Wayne Guffey and former Word of Faith Fellowship member John Huddle. According to Rutherford County Court, the charges were dismissed after the Attorney General's Office found no criminal misconduct on the part of Wheeler, Guffey and Huddle.
Wheeler, a Democrat, said he was invited by Jane Whaley, the leader of the Word of Faith Fellowship, to visit the church in Spindale, North Carolina, in August. The church has been accused of beating congregants to expel demons. Wheeler told The Associated Press that Whaley and other members invited him so he could see for himself that it is an open and loving church.
"Wayne Guffey, John Huddle and I welcome the filing by the Attorney General’s Office that the false charges brought by the Word of Faith Fellowship and Senator Hise are without merit and have been dismissed today. Despite desperate intimidation attempts by Word of Faith Fellowship and Senator Ralph Hise, we are proud of our efforts. Don't forget we were invited on three separate times. We will continue to stand with other Word of Faith victims against such harassment and hold WOFF accountable," Wheeler said in a statement Wednesday.
I just happened to be on Facebook when Wheeler went to the church, and I watched the whole thing live. There was absolutely nothing even remotely criminal about that visit. They were allowed into the foyer, which is where they stayed the whole time, and they were extremely polite during the entire time. The fact Whaley brought the charges against them and almost made them stick is a testimony to just how arrogant and privileged she is, and Ralph Hise shares much of the responsibility for that. But this isn't just a local problem:
AP later outlined how the church created a pipeline of young laborers from its two Brazilian congregations who say they were brought to the U.S. and forced to work for little or no pay at businesses owned by church leaders.
Those stories led to investigations in the U.S. and Brazil. In March, Brazilian labor prosecutors filed suit to close one of the churches and its school in Sao Paulo, saying its leaders "reduced people to a condition analogous to slavery."
So you can add human trafficking to the (long) list of organized criminal activities perpetrated by this "church," all in the name of Jesus.