Tag Archives: Angel Food Ministries

‘Angel Food,’ Christian Nonprofit, Pleads Not Guilty To Using Funds For Private Jet, Other Federal Charges

Angel Food Indictment

First Posted: 12/16/11 09:49 AM ET Updated: 12/16/11 09:49 AM ET (Huffington Post)

Joe and Linda Wingo, the founders of the Georgia-based Angel Food Ministries, plead not guilty Thursday to a host of federal charges.

The 49-count federal indictment included charges of fraud, money laundering, and allegations that the pair funneled money from Angel Food to their personal accounts, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Michael J. Moore, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announced Friday that the charges against the Wingos, along with their son, Andy Wingo, and a former employee, Harry Michaels, according the Christian Post reports.

“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,” said Moore in a statement.

Angel Food, founded in 1994, was a nonprofit that sold boxes discount groceries to impoverished families across the country through a network of over 5,000 churches. Angel Food shut down in September of 2011, citing the economic downturn and the strain of rising food and gasoline prices for the organization closing its doors, the St. Petersburg Times reports.

The indictment alleges that the pair stole millions of dollars from their charitable ministry, using the money to purchase personal luxury items, including making a down payment on a private jet, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Joe Wingo’s request for a court-appointed attorney was denied by Judge Charles H. Weigle, who posited that Wingo possessed the resources for a privately funded attorney.

“You ought to have resources to hire any lawyer in the state,” Judge Weigle said.

The indictment also accuses the Wingos of using Angel Food funds to boost support for a local candidate, Al Yarborough, in the Walton County Sheriff appointment in 2008 by giving bonuses to employees on the condition that they use a portion of their bonus to donate to Yarborough’s campaign, the Christian Post reports.

At its peak, Angel Food Ministries sold food to nearly 500,000 families a month and employed 90 full-time staff members.

In 2008, the nonprofit was recognized by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives as an example of “effective models for Federal collaboration with faith-based and community organizations.”

Joe and Linda Wingo of Angel Food Ministries face fraud charges

By KATE BRUMBACK, Associated Press – Dec 2, 2011

ATLANTA (AP) — Leaders of a Georgia-based ministry that provided discounted groceries to needy families across the U.S. have been indicted and face a wide range of charges, including using organization funds to buy jewelry, athletic equipment, clothes and to make a down payment on a jet.

A 49-count federal indictment filed Tuesday against the two founders of Angel Food Ministries, their son and another employee includes charges of fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Pastors Linda and Joe Wingo, the organization’s founders, were scheduled to make their first court appearance Friday afternoon, the prosecutor’s office said. It was not clear when their son, Andrew Wingo, or the employee named in the indictment, Harry Michaels, would appear. It also was not immediately clear whether any of the four was in custody.

“The Wingos feel, when all is said and done, that they will be vindicated,” Edward Tolley, an attorney for Linda Wingo told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “That’s how they feel. They ran this ministry for a number of years and they fed a lot of people. They’re very disappointed to be included in this indictment.”

Tolley did not immediately return a call and an email from The Associated Press seeking comment Friday.

The indictment filed in the U.S. District Court in Athens states the defendants used funds from the ministry to purchase classic cars, jewelry and other items. The U.S. attorney’s office in Macon said it would issue a statement at some point Friday.

The ministry shut its doors in September after 17 years of operation, citing rising food and fuel prices, declining sales and operational costs.

The nonprofit organization was primarily a food assistance program, purchasing food in bulk at discount prices and then repackaging it and selling it at reduced prices. While the stated purpose was to sell food to needy families, prosecutors say the ministry sold food to anyone.

Families typically ordered multi-meal boxes of meatballs, ham and other staples from monthly menus, spending roughly $30 for an estimated $65 worth of groceries, Angel Food has said in the past. Families then collected boxes at churches that were rewarded with at least $1 for every box delivered.

Angel Food was started in 1994 by the Wingos with 34 families in Monroe, about 40 miles east of Atlanta. It grew through a network of churches to feed more than 500,000 families a month in 45 states. The organization ran into its most serious trouble in 2009 when the FBI searched its offices.

The indictment alleges that beginning in January 2003, the defendants used the organization’s bank accounts for their own personal benefit without the approval of the board of directors. Tax records have shown the Wingos were receiving six-figure salaries at some points.

The indictment says Joe and Linda Wingo established other nonprofit organizations and for-profit companies and used them to funnel Angel Food Ministries funds for their personal use and took actions “to cover up their illegal activities when they learned they were under investigation.”

Among the various forms of fraud alleged in the indictment are: issuing checks to themselves and family members and employees purportedly as bonuses not approved by the board; using organization funds to make down payments on real estate and retaining rental and sale proceeds from those properties; routinely using organization credit cards for personal expenses; using ministry funds to make a down payment on a jet that was then leased back to the ministry; soliciting kickbacks from vendors; diverting proceeds from the sale of excess inventory for personal use; and giving employees bonuses and instructing them to make personal contributions to political candidates in the amount of the bonuses.

In one example, prosecutors say Andy Wingo and Harry Michaels would solicit kickbacks by instructing vendors to increase the amount of their invoices to Angel Food Ministries to cover the kickbacks. They would then instruct the organization to pay the inflated invoices, “knowing that the kickbacks had already been paid or would be paid in the near future,” prosecutors say.

Linda Wingo tried to persuade employees not to reveal information to the FBI and instructed an employee to remove and destroy the hard drive of a computer, prosecutors say.

Angel Food Founders Enter Plea

Three months after shutting down operations, the founders of Angel Food Ministries have pleaded not guilty to fraud and money laundering charges.

Joe and Linda Wingo entered the plea in a Georgia courtroom Thursday.

The couple is accused of using the charity’s funds for personal use.

Angel Food Ministries was based out of Monroe, Georgia.

It provided discounted groceries to needy families across the country, including many right here in the Valley.

 

See the pictures: Here

Help Luke James and Angel Food Ministries Win $10,000 Each!

All you have to do is View Luke James’ Video on YouTube!

You must view video all the way through for your view to count.

Views will be tabulated from now till August 20th so remember to Watch at least once a day!!!

At 104.7 The Fish- Celebrate Freedom Opening Act


Or Type In this address:

The Grand Prize is $10,000 for Luke and another $10,000 for the ministry!!

Also, Luke will get to perform his song as the opening act for the Celebrate Freedom Fest along with Chris Tomlin, Third Day, Toby Mac, Laura Story and more!!!

Angel Food Ministries’ to Deliver Relief to Unemployed and Struggling in Pensacola, FL due to Gulf Oil Disaster

Angel Food Ministries is helping families, workers, women and children in Pensacola, Florida, effected by the loss of work and business due to the Gulf oil disaster by sending two tractor trailers loaded with approximately 78 thousand pounds of food at the Gateway Church of Christ in Pensacola on Thursday morning, July 15th, 2010.

(Read More)

Pat Senkow, Angel Food Outreach Minister for the region, said, “We have many oil workers who have come here to take care of the oil that washes up here; meanwhile no one is allowed in the water to fish or otherwise, and we have lost so much due to lack of tourism and commerce.”
Mrs. Senkow said, “In Escambia county we have 1,200 homeless children, and Santa Rosa County has 4,700 known homeless before the oil spoiled what we did have.” “The need is so great,” she said.

We know that people are hurting. The economy is suffering and people who rely on the Gulf for industry are hurting even more. We do what we can,” Pastor Joe Wingo, Angel Food CEO, said.

—–

Agencies Participating:

First Assembly of God Milton, 1st Bagdad, 1st Bapt. Milton, 1st UMC Pensacola, ACTS Ministries, Agency for Persons w/disabilities, Bayou LaBatre, Billory Baptist, Child Protective I S, Children’s Home Society, Children’s Home Society, CMA Maranatha Riders, Community Drug & Alcohol, Cornerstone Christian, Cottage Hill Baptist, Council on Aging, Council on Aging, Council on Aging, Crestview Center F&C, Damascus Road, Early learning Coalition, East Hill COGIC, Escambia Family services, Families Count, Families First, Families First, Family Promise of SR, Favor House Shelter, Ferris Hill Baptist, FRAME…Title 1, GAL, Guardian Ad Litem, Guardian Ad Litem, Gulf Breeze UMC, Head Start, Holy Cross, Kugelman Counseling, Lakeview, Loaves and Fishes, Manna Food Pantry, Mary’s Shelter, Myrtle grove Baptist, Olive Baptist Milton, Pathways for Change, Primitive Bapt – Molino, Program Director, RSVP Santa Rosa, School Overlay, Southeastern Vocational, St. Rose of Lima , St. Vincent DePaul , Village, Waterfront-Women’s

Dr. Phil’s Recession Survival Advice with Angel Food Ministries

We were pleasantly happy to see that Angel Food Ministries was listed by Dr. Phil in his article on surviving a harsh economy.

The piece contains some good advice, yet still, it has other advice that you ought to discuss with your own financial experts; be it your father, son, daughter, mother, friend or relative whom you know has some experience in the field.  However, Dr. Phil does give Angel Food Ministries a huge nod as a way to save money on food.  For that reason alone, we suggest you take a look at the article.

I’ll just give you the highlights here, than you can read the rest on his site. (Here)

How to Find Money Hidden in Every Home

Money guru Mary Hunt is the author of Debt Proof Living: The Complete Guide to Living Financially Free. She offers tips for saving more and spending less:

Food:

  1. Use coupons
    Go to www.couponmom.com and
    www.thegrocerygame.com.

    E-mail directly for coupons: Many companies will send cents-off coupons directly to you by simply e-mailing them from their Web sites and requesting information on how to obtain coupons.

  2. Buy only what’s seasonal and on sale
  3. Check the unit price
  4. Stock up when you canCheapest food: Walmart Supercenter was the cheapest because they honor competitor’s coupons.
  5. Fifty percent off food: Check the Internet to see if you have an Angel Food Ministry near you. They provide groceries at a 50 percent discount to those in need of grocery relief and financial support:

    www.angelfoodministries.org.

Feeding my Family with Angel Food Ministries

We discovered Angel Food Ministries earlier this year when we were really struggling financially. We were working on a Family Budget and new that in order to make it we would have to figure out how to cut back on our grocery bill. We are a family of 5 with 3 teenagers who eat us out of house and home. So after talking to Consumer Counseling Credits Services we learned about an amazing network where you can feed a family of 4 for only $30 a week. This sounded amazing to us. By using Angel Food We have been able to cut down our grocery bill by $200 a month. We are actually thinking about buying a freezer so we can buy more since there is no limit. We figure the freezer will end up paying for itself within 2 months.

At first I was skeptical about Angel Food. I thought it was charity. I promise you it is not! Angel Food Ministries is a non denomiational organization that helps families like you save money on food. It has been a God Send to our family including my Mother who eats for only $30 a month. With Angel Food $30 will feed a senior for an entire month. Everyone qualifies. If you eat, you qualify.

The Angel Food Menu is abundant and the food is delicious and fresh.

By: Wendy Krick