Home Atlanta Press Releases 2011 CEO of Angel Food Ministries and Others Indicted

CEO of Angel Food Ministries and Others Indicted

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 02, 2011
  • Middle District of Georgia (478) 752-3511

Michael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announces that a 49-count indictment has been filed against Wesley Joseph Wingo, a/k/a Joe Wingo, Pastor Joe, and PJ; Andrew Wingo, a/k/a Andy Wingo; Linda Wingo a/k/a Pastor Linda; and Harry Michaels regarding Angel Food Ministries.

Count one alleges that the four defendants (Joe Wingo, Andy Wingo, Linda Wingo, and Harry Michaels) conspired with each other and others to commit offenses against the United States, specifically:

  1. Wire fraud, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 1343;
  2. Mail fraud, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 1341;
  3. Attempt to commit fraud, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 1349;
  4. Theft from an organization receiving federal funds, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Sections 666;
  5. Interstate transportation of stolen property, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Sections 2314; and
  6. Tampering with a witness, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Sections 1512.

On count one, each defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of up to five years’ imprisonment, followed by three years’ supervised release; a $250,000 fine, and a $100 mandatory assessment fee.

Counts two through 24 allege that each of the four defendants committed wire fraud, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 1343, through a scheme to defraud Angel Food Ministries to obtain money and property by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses for their personal benefit. Each defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of up to 20 years’ imprisonment followed by three years’ supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and a $100 mandatory assessment fee per count.

Counts 25 through 39 allege that each of the defendants committed the offense of money laundering, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 1957, by engaging in monetary transactions in amounts exceeding $10,000, through the use of a financial institution affecting interstate commerce to wire and otherwise process funds which were derived from wire fraud, mail fraud, theft, and interstate transportation of stolen funds. Each defendant faces a maximum possible sentence up to 10 years’ imprisonment followed by three years’ supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and a mandatory $100 assessment per count.

Count 40 alleges that each of the defendants committed the offense of conspiracy to commit money laundering, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 1956(h), by conspiring to knowingly conduct and attempt to conduct financial transactions involving proceeds derived from illegal activities. Each defendant faces a possible maximum possible sentence up to 20 years’ imprisonment followed by three years’ supervised release, a $500,000 fine, and a $100 assessment fee.

Count 41 alleges that defendants Joe and Linda Wingo committed the offense of theft from an organization receiving federal funds, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 666, by unlawfully taking $1,482,035.50 belonging the Angel Food Ministries, and paying that amount as bonuses to Joe Wingo, Linda Wingo, Andy Wingo, and others. Each defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment followed by three years’ supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and a $100 mandatory assessment fee per count.

Count 42 alleges that defendant Joe Wingo committed the offense of theft from an organization receiving federal funds, in violation of Title 18 United States, Section 666, by using Angel Food Ministries’ funds in the amount of $21,250 to pay bonuses and reimburse employees who, at the direction of Joe Wingo, had made campaign contributions to the candidate selected by Joe Wingo. He faces a maximum possible sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment followed by three years’ supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and a $100 mandatory assessment fee per count.

Count 43 alleges that defendants Joe Wingo, Andy Wingo, and Harry Michaels committed the offense of interstate transportation of stolen property, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 2314, by causing a certain check to be transported, transmitted, and transferred in interstate commerce knowing that the check contained funds that had been stolen, converted and taken by fraud. Each defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment followed by three years’ supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and a $100 mandatory assessment fee.

Count 44 alleges that defendants Joe Wingo, Andy Wingo and Harry Michaels committed the offense of interstate transportation of stolen property, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 2314, by causing a certain check in the amount of $347,864.24, to be transported, transmitted, and transferred in interstate commerce knowing that the check contained funds that had been stolen, converted and taken by fraud. Each defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment followed by three years’ supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and a $100 mandatory assessment fee.

Count 45 alleges that defendants Joe Wingo, Andy Wingo and Harry Michaels committed the offense of interstate transportation of stolen property, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 2314, by causing a certain check in the amount of $1,154,350.44, to be transported, transmitted, and transferred in interstate commerce knowing that the check contained funds that had been stolen, converted and taken by fraud. Each defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment followed by three years’ supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and a $100 mandatory assessment fee.

Count 46 alleges that defendants Joe Wingo, Andy Wingo and Harry Michaels committed the offense of interstate transportation of stolen property, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 2314, by causing a certain check in the amount of $985,465.64, to be transported, transmitted, and transferred in interstate commerce knowing that the check contained funds that had been stolen, converted and taken by fraud. Each defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment followed by three years’ supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and a $100 mandatory assessment fee.

Counts 47 through 49 allege that defendant Linda Wingo committed the offense of tampering with witnesses and obstruction of justice, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 1512. She faces a maximum possible sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release; a $250,000 fine; a $100 mandatory assessment fee per count.

The indictment also contains a forfeiture notice.

United States Attorney Michael Moore stated, “As alleged in the indictment, these Defendants raised money in the name of Christian charity, and then used a number of schemes to defraud the organization.”

An indictment is only an accusation, and the accused are presumed innocent until proven guilty at trial.

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