Angel Food Ministries

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The former headquarters and day care AFM. Monroe, Georgia

Angel Food Ministries was a Monroe, GA-based non-profit organization that was served search warrants and raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service on February 11, 2009 due to an eventual December 2, 2011 disclosure by the FBI of a 49-count indictment against founders 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 alleged 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, ranging from fraud to money laundering. 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.” [1]

Under federal and state laws, nonprofit organizations may not distribute profits to members, officers, or directors. Nonprofit organizations may generate tax-exempt income, but not profits.

Angel Food Ministries began as a back-door ministry in 1994 at the home of founders/pastors Joe and Linda Wingo. After the closure of a local mill, there were requests for food.[2]

Angel Food Ministries bought food in bulk from national suppliers, repackaged and sold boxes of groceries for $31 each - about half of what the food would cost retail. According to the nonprofit organization started in 1994 by providing discounted groceries to 34 families from Atlanta to Athens; by its peak in 2008, Angel Food sold low-cost food to hundreds of thousands of families in more than 44 states.

An Atlanta reporter stated 2005 compensation of $69,598 for founder, pastor, and CEO Joe Wingo; $69,598 for pastor and co-founder Linda Wingo; $93,615 for son Andrew Wingo; and son Wesley Wingo, Director of Pastoral Relations, $89,944. 2006 compensation for Angel Food Ministries leadership took a big leap with Joe making $588,529. Linda was paid $544,043, son Andrew made $529,014, and Wesley $454,673.

Reportedly, 70% of the $21 million revenue was spent on expenses. CEOs at nonprofits with expenses between $25 million and $50 million in 2006 made a median salary of $220,000, according to Charity Navigator. But Joe's compensation that year was more than twice the reported median when the charity's expenses were just under $17.7 million in 2006.[3] Tax returns for the Wingos and their two sons show an astonishing jump in salaries in a recent one-year period.

In 2005, Joseph, Linda, Andrew and Wesley Wingo reported combined earnings of $322,755. In 2006, they claimed more than $2.1 million in salaries.[4]

Former board members Daniel Prather and Craig Atnip claim the ministry and the Wingos had failed to comply with an judicial order issued to settle their 2009 lawsuit, according to Walton County Superior Court court documents.

The Wingo's jet plane pilot[edit]

In 2010, Wesley Allgood, the former security coordinator and co-pilot and one of those laid off, stated he flew Joe Wingo and his wife Linda by the ministry's jet on multiple trips to Derry, Pennsylvania. He flew to Pennsylvania repeatedly between April 2009 and August 2010 so that Linda Wingo could visit a holistic doctor there, Allgood said. The trips were documented as training trips for three employees who were becoming outreach ministers while the Wingos visited their holistic doctor. He also flew Linda and Wesley Wingo and several others from Monroe to a Georgia-Florida football game in Jacksonville, Fla., on Oct. 30, on board the BeechJet 400, that would have cost $5,000 to operate and fuel, per trip, at that time.[5]

Allgood also flew the Wingo family from Monroe to Canton, Georgia in October for a memorial service for Joe Wingo's father, according to flight records. Joe Wingo had been leasing the jet to the ministry for several years at profit, according to court papers.

Tioni King lawsuit[edit]

A lawsuit filed by Tioni King against Andy Wingo, included accusations of sexual harassment; false imprisonment; assault and battery, and other allegations.[6][7]

Prather and Atnip filed a motion asking Judge John Ott to hold the Wingos in contempt for failing to provide an independent audit of the nonprofit's books. They also wanted access to the books at Emmanuel Praise Church, which auditors found took in about $7 million from Angel Food Ministries over the years, according to court documents.

Ed Tolley, was an acting attorney for Linda Wingo and Emmanuel Praise Church, where Joe Wingo was the head pastor.[8]

References[edit]