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‘It’s God’s plan’: North Carolina church helped members commit unemployment fraud so they could keep tithing

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An evangelical church already under investigation for luring foreign believers to the U.S., where they were kept as virtual slaves, has been accused of encouraging parishioners to file fraudulent unemployment claims so they could keep tithing.

According to an Associated Press investigation, the founder of the Word of Faith Fellowship reportedly encouraged church members to defraud the government so that they could keep filling her coffers at Sunday services, saying it was “God’s plan.”

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In an interview, contractor Randy Fields related how he appealed to church founder Jane Whaley to allow him to scale back his tithing because his business was faltering, only to have the religious leader encourage him to file fraudulent unemployment claims in the names of his employees.

According to the report, Fields was not alone, with multiple other church members — and fellowship employees – also admitting they committed fraud in the name of the church. The report goes on to note that the allegations are being investigated by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Detailing years of fraud,  former church adherents estimated that the fake claims — including “some filed by the business owners’ wives and other family members” — would have diverted hundreds of thousands of tax dollars to the church over a six-year period.

This is not the first time the Word of Faith Fellowship has been scrutinized.

In June of this year, a church member admitted that she led approximately 30 parishioners from her church to attack and beat a gay member of the church in an effort to “expel his demons.”

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2020 Election

Trump’s former White House doctor Ronny Jackson wins GOP runoff for Congress in Texas

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Ronny Jackson, the former White House physician and President Donald Trump's onetime nominee for secretary of veterans affairs, has won his bid for the Republican nomination for a solidly red congressional seat in the Texas Panhandle.

With 100% of polling locations reporting, though some mail-in ballots will still need to be counted, Jackson held a lead of 11 percentage points over Josh Winegarner, a veteran agriculture expert and lobbyist. Jackson and Winegarner were competing for a seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Clarendon, who is retiring and held the seat since 1995.

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Ivanka Trump’s tweet raises eyebrows: ‘Why is a senior White House official endorsing a food product?’

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As her big brother was dragging their 14-year-old half brother into the 2020 campaign, senior White House advisor Ivanka Trump was endorsing a line of canned food products.

If it’s Goya, it has to be good. Si es Goya, tiene que ser bueno. pic.twitter.com/9tjVrfmo9z

— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) July 15, 2020

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Florida outbreak is ‘much worse’ than Gov. DeSantis is letting on: Former COVID-19 data chief

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Rebekah Jones, the Florida data scientist who in May claimed that she was fired for refusing to manipulate state coronavirus data to meet the Republican governor's reopening criteria, has issued a new warning: The ongoing outbreak is "much, much worse" than it has been painted by the administration.In a Monday interview with MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell, Jones, who built the state government's coronavirus data portal, identified a number of failures since she left her state job. Florida recently posted the highest daily caseload in a single day across all 50 U.S. states.
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