Cleveland, Tennessee–March 28, 2015
Approximately two years ago, church officials were made aware of possible irregularities regarding General Assembly financial matters involving this former employee. Immediately thereafter Legal Counsel for the church was notified, and after consultation with outside legal counsel, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was contacted. This began an extensive investigation, with which the International Executive Committee has fully cooperated.
During the pendency of this investigation, church leaders were advised by federal authorities and by legal counsel not to publicly comment on or publish information regarding the investigation. However, the International Executive Committee was allowed to and did keep the International Executive Council apprised as to the general progress of the ongoing investigation.
The findings of the investigation have revealed that no elected church official, former or present, was involved in or had any knowledge of the irregularities giving rise to this criminal matter.
It is believed that the irregularities relate to various expenses connected with past International General Assemblies. A significant amount of the missing funds potentially will be recouped due to an insurance policy protecting the church against such fraud. The church has taken additional measures to ensure that this type of scenario will not occur in the future. The church will take further steps to evaluate the prospects of exercising its legal options to recoup all of the money which was taken and is advised that restitution will probably be a part of any order of the court.
The church also has been advised that the filing of such charges usually is followed by the presentation of a proposed plea agreement which will outline, in some detail, the results of the investigation. The disposition of any plea agreement, when entered into, is under the sole discretion of the federal authorities. The church will continue to cooperate fully with the FBI and the office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee.
We urge prayer for all involved and for the continued ministry of the church