Linda and Joe Wingo have been charged with fraud in a 49 count indictment listed in a 71 page document that details their misuse of funds in the name of the Angel Food Ministries that provided food at affordable prices for those in need.
The Angel Food Ministries organization has helped less fortunate families put food on their table at reasonable prices.The organization was founded in 1994 by Joe and Linda Wingo. They provided groceries for struggling families for about half the price, of what they could be bought at a grocery store.
However due to the Wingos being indicted on fraud charges, the ministry no longer exists. Greed seems to be the motivating factor that caused the Wingos to focus more on themselves, than the people they were supposed to be helping.
Michael J. Moore, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia made this statement about the charges:
“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.”
The ministry reportedly had expenses of $17,000, while reporting revenue of $96,000 in 2006. Meanwhile the Wingos and their two sons reported income of $2.1 million for the year. One of the more egregious law violations was that Joe Wingo set up a corporation to buy a personal jet, then leased the jet to Angel Food Ministries for a $10,000 a month profit.
Menus were posted on website to show what foods were on the menu for a certain month. The following menu shows the food items on the September 2010 menu:
If convicted of the fraud charges Joe Wingo could receive a 105 year prison sentence, while his wife Linda would receive a 85 year sentence. Linda also told an employee to remove a hard drive from a computer and destroy it to thwart a federal grand jury investigation.
I was doing a search for Angel Food Ministries to see they had a local distribution point, when I encountered many articles about the Wingos being indicted.
Could find no information about a trial, so the prosecutors are probably still gathering evidence and should announce a trial date sometime in the future.
It is sad that a Christian ministry was enriching their own bank accounts, while seemingly concerned about those who couldn’t afford to pay exorbitant prices, for their groceries at local supermarkets.
Angel Food Ministries no longer is an active ministry, thanks to the Wingos who founded the ministry 17 years ago. Instead of focusing on the ministry the Wingos were busy padding their bank account, by using unscrupulous methods to enrich themselves.
The ministry was a good one, until the Wingos saw there was money to be made through the ministry. They funneled money to themselves instead of the ministry, but justice may have finally caught up with them. Wearing shackles to the courtroom may have given them the message, that they are in serious trouble, even though they deny any wrongdoing.
For more information on Angel Food Ministries and the charges against the Wingos: