Guilty pleas: Wesley Joseph “Joe” Wingo and his wife, Linda Wingo, founders, now-defunct Angel Food Ministries, and pastors, Emmanuel Praise Church (a.k.a. Emmanuel Praise Global Ministries), Good Hope, Georgia; and their son, Andy Wingo, the church’s associate pastor and chief operating officer and AFM’s Director of Pastoral Relations; to 40 out (more…)
Charles Agbu • Mary Ann Aten • Caesar Belchez • Edward Belczak • Julius C. Blackwelder
Isaac Brooks • Romey Coles, Jr. • Archie Larue Evans • Peter Hesketh • Rose Hinson
Paul Haskell Lane / Katherine Hope Lane • Peter Nitschke • Demario Thomas
Sonya “Cheri” Tucker • Pam West • Paul Wolfe
Guilty plea: Charles Agbu, 58, pastor, Pilgrim Congregational Church, Carson, California, “to conspiring with doctors, the operators of fraudulent medical clinics, street-level patient recruiters, and others to defraud Medicare of more than $11 million,” according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Copping to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of money laundering, Agbu “faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine” at his scheduled sentencing on May 16, 2013. Co-conspirator Dr. Juan Tomas Van Putten is scheduled for (more…)
“Winans took advantage of ‘good, decent, church-going people,’ said [Judge Sean Cox] in U.S. District Court before sentencing him. ‘That is very, very troubling to me… You used … churches to perpetuate this fraud.’
“Assistant U.S. Attorney Abed Hammoud said of Winans: ‘He used religion. He used the church, the good reputation of the family,’ to rob victims. … (more…)
By Chris Fry, Courthouse News Service
MANHATTAN (CN) — A New York appeals court upheld the larceny and money laundering convictions against a Republican political consultant who stole from Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
During Bloomberg’s 2009 re-election bid, John Haggerty Jr. conned the New York City mayor’s campaign workers out of $750,000, which he promised would help the Independence Party fund a $1.1 million “ballot security operation.” (more…)
A guy from Minnesota named Gerard Cellette is facing a whopping 116 counts of fraud, money laundering and other highly illegal shenanigans related to what the Orange County, California, D.A. calls “the largest Ponzi scheme to be prosecuted in Orange County history.” Cellette is accused of defrauding 55 victims in California — “without ever entering the State of California,” notes the D.A. — out of $21 million. There’s a nice, long explanation below that details exactly what Cellette is accused of doing (and why, until he was extradited to California a couple of weeks ago, he’d been twiddling his thumbs in a Minnesota prison) — but first, let’s hit the convoluted backstory. (more…)
You’ll understand why this news makes us happy after you read the backstory — “Republican 1%-er Rita Crundwell’s Million-Dollar RV First Asset Up for Auction” — and see photos of her luxury RV, which was just the first of her ill-gotten possessions the U.S. Marshals auctioned off to compensate for a small fraction of the megabucks the former Dixon, Illinois, comptroller stole from the city over the course of 22 years (in order to support her quarter-horse training habit, among other unnecessary diversions of the Rich and Undeserving): (more…)
The phrase “bilked the dead” belongs to Wayne Besen, who found this tidbit about the recently sort-of-sacked Cardinal Roger Mahony — and it’s just so, so apt:
Pressed to come up with hundreds of millions of dollars to settle clergy sex abuse lawsuits, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony turned to one group of Catholics whose faith could not be shaken: the dead. (more…)
Hear that? It’s the sound of crickets — which is exactly what we expected to hear while waiting for Michael Salman‘s defenders (“He’s being persecuted for being a Christian!”) to again rush to his defense now that Salman, his wife, and his brother have all been nailed — not to a cross, but for for fraud.
Make sure to read the backstory in order to 1) understand why we find Salman one of the most irritating Conservative Babylonians we’ve ever documented (and a scary one, too, (more…)
7th Circuit Refuses to Rehear Ryan Appeal
By Joseph Celentino, reprinted with the kind permission of Courthouse News Service
CHICAGO (CN) — In a three-sentence order released Monday, the 7th Circuit refused to rehear an appeal of former Illinois Gov. George Ryan, found guilty of corruption charges in 2006. (more…)
It looks like possession really is nine points of the law — either that, or Nanette Kinkade is more interested in raking in a whopping $11,000-a-month rent from her dead boor of a husband’s bit o’ fluff, Amy Pinto-Walsh, than she is about preserving the sanctity (or even the image) of her ordained-by-God widowhood: (more…)
Sueko (a.k.a. Suco) the Chimp and John Oyer, who is not John the Baptist.
Rampaging chimp video after the jump.
Some stories are just so bizarre on their own, we can’t think of a single witty remark to make them any richer — so we’ll just encourage you to read the stories below, and watch the rampaging-chimp video at the end.
First, check out this profile of the cast of characters (and we do mean characters) — Shirley Oyer and her sons, one who heads his own “United World Church” and claims to be John the Baptist (which Oyer herself apparently believes, (more…)
“I will conquer and subjugate the world. I am your brain.”
“What is the meaning of lesbians and homosexuals? That is the place where all different kinds of dung collect. We have to end that behavior.”
“Vowed to ‘protect’ Social Security: Years before Ryan advocated a form of Social Security privatization so extreme that even former President George W. Bush called it ‘irresponsible,’ Ryan pledged to his constituents that, if elected, he would ‘preserve Social Security,’ calling it a ‘moral duty.’ He also called for re-separating Social Security funds from general funds, an idea made famous with Al Gore’s ‘lockbox.’ [Source]” (more…)
We wonder if he’ll deny he ever advocated decentralizing the concentration of wealth, now that he’s on the campaign trail? Oh, well, he can always say he saw the light… in a mere four short months (he’s such an impetuous lad!).
Meanwhile, since when did his Social Security plan call for “no benefit cuts”?
But our favorite part is how Ryan practically calls George W. Bush a liberal! That right there should tell you just how far to the fringe-right Ryan stands — and how removed he is from reality. (more…)
If you don’t believe (or realize yet) that Paul Ryan‘s end goal is to murder Social Security (and Medicare, of course) through death by a thousand cuts (literally), read the easy-to-understand details. In short, the Ryan plan would:
• slash benefits for middle-class seniors and people with disabilities;
• reform Social Security entirely through benefit cuts;
• increase out-of-pocket health care costs (“by $4,300 a year for nearly 1 million individuals ages 65 and 66 — even with the subsidies and Medicaid expansion of the Affordable Care Act, which the Ryan Budget repeals”;
Convicted: James Richard Harris, 64, a Belle Glades, Florida, minister, on charges including lewd and lascivious battery, unlawful sexual activity with a minor, promoting sexual performance by a child, and showing obscene material to a minor; i.e., forcing a 15-year-old boy to perform oral sex on him, videotaping the boy masturbating while a porn movie played in the background, and videotaping his 16-year-old godson having sex with his 14-year-old girlfriend. (more…)
George Jaramillo, the Garden Grove cop-turned-felon we profiled way back in 2009 — the “devoted family man, a hard-working immigrant, and a Mormon who doesn’t drink alcohol or smoke,” as R. Scott Moxley wrote (way back in 2005) — earned a new mention in Moxley’s ever-enjoyable column this week: (more…)