published Friday, March 1st, 2013

Georgia-based Angel Food Ministry defendants enter guilty pleas

  • photo
    The offices of Angel Food Ministries in Monroe, Ga., are shown Thursday, March 5, 2009.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

ATHENS, Ga. — The founders and leaders of a Georgia-based ministry that sent discounted groceries to needy families across the country have pleaded guilty to federal charges.

The guilty pleas were entered this week after the defendants reached deals with prosecutors.

Court records state that Pastor Wesley Joseph Wingo and Andrew Wingo both pleaded guilty this week to conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Linda Wingo also pleaded guilty to a charge that she concealed criminal activity by failing to tell law officers of the scheme to defraud the Monroe-based charity.

A former employee, Harry Michaels, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

A November 2011 indictment said ministry officials took millions of dollars from the organization to buy jewelry, athletic equipment, clothes and to make a down payment on a jet.

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