Posted by: mollyrossiter | March 1, 2009

Angel Food founders sued

A lawsuit filed by two members of the board of Angel Food Ministries, which is headquartered in Georgia with distribution sites across the country, “alleges that the founders of Angel Food Ministries used the nonprofit to enrich themselves through sweetheart deals, kickbacks from food vendors and by rerouting money to themselves through their church,” according to a story in the Atlanta Journal Constitution this weekend.

Angel Food Ministries is a national food purchase program that allows consumers to purchase a box of meat and staples worth about $60 for $30. There are almost two dozen distribution sites in Linn and Johnson counties in Eastern Iowa.

The lawsuit asks the court to bar the founders of Angel Food Ministries, Joe and Linda Wingo, and members of their family from the premises and to protect the ministry’s finances and operations.

An Angel Food spokesman, however, has called the lawsuit “frivolous” and claims that it is nothing more than a “power grab” by those who filed it, according to a story in The Walton (Ga.) Tribune.

The FBI and IRS served search warrants on the headquarters in early February and seized computers and files. No information on the warrants has been made public, but an Angel Food spokesman said at the time that he believed the agencies were targeting certain individuals and not the ministry itself.

Local coordinators of Angel Food sites have said business will continue as usual and orders and distribution will not be interrupted. An e-mail was sent by officials at the headquarters to coordinators nationwide assuring them that the ministry will continue its work.

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