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Bishop Anthony Jinwright indicted on tax evasion

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Bishop Anthony L. Jinwright, senior pastor of Greater Salem City of God, has been indicted on tax evasion charges by a federal grand jury in Charlotte.

The 16-page indictment, filed today, alleges that Jinwright, 52, filed false federal and state tax returns, evaded taxes and made false statements to federal agents, all while spending lavishly on expensive homes and cars, including $42,000 a year to lease a 2005 Bently GT.

The indictment alleges that Greater Salem paid Jinwright more than $3.1 million in earnings and reimbursements from 2001 to 2006. That figure included $140,000 in travel-related expenses, unlimited used of a Mercedes-Benz, owned by the church, valued at more than $83,000 and with a monthly lease payment of more than $1,500.

The indictment further alleges that Greater Salem paid more than $835,000 to Jinwright's wife during that same period.

The indictment said none of those totals included cash and other gifts that were given to the pastor -- income that should have been subject to state and federal tax.

In a press release, the U.S. Justice Department said the indictment alleges that "with few exceptions, (Jinwright) consistently filed his tax returns late between 2000 and 2007 and that each of the returns for 2002 through at least 2006 substantially under reports income earned in those years. Specifically, the indictment charges that during those years, Jinwright reported just slightly more than $1.1 million in adjusted gross income, whereas his true and correct adjusted gross income was nearly $2 million."

If convicted, Jinwright faces five years on each count of tax evasion, three years on each count of filing false tax returns, five years for making false statements to federal agents and up to 30 years for each count of mail fraud.

Efforts to reach Jinwright were unsuccessful.

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August 29, 2015
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