Her allegations brought down megachurch pastor Bruxy Cavey. Then the anonymous trolls came for her.
In a story I wrote earlier this year about the case of former megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress, I discussed some of the evidence that his church was a money-laundering firm used to funnel money from multiple donors to a host of politicians, including then-presidential nominee Donald Trump. That evidence has not only fallen apart in the face of multiple civil lawsuits, but also turned up in a government corruption investigation, too. The story has been shared more than 1.5 million times, and the controversy has even inspired a popular children’s book about how Jeffress’s church lied to the world.
What I failed to mention, however, is that part of the reason that Jeffress has been accused of hypocrisy when asked about his finances is that his church has had its own problems with money laundering, too. In fact, Jeffress’s church has had its own problems with money laundering in the way it handled money donated to it, and that was also the case for another man accused of laundering church funds on behalf of Jeffress.
Back in 2011, when Jeffress first asked about the allegations that his church was a money laundering operation, he told the world about his church’s troubles.
I can’t believe there are still people who don’t know about this. The facts are simple. We were able to demonstrate to the IRS [the Internal Revenue Service] that a number of our congregations were giving money which was being returned to our bank account. The same thing was happening at two other church campuses. We filed suit against one of the campuses and they were sued and were given the opportunity to give us information on the church. We provided the documents, and I believe they did nothing further.
(He later clarified that his church was actually in debt up to this point, too, and that they had no reason to suspect that the church was not being honest with the IRS.)
But when the IRS began to question Jeffress on the matter, he told them that those accounts had been held on behalf of the church and that there was nothing unusual about them. He made the same excuse even after the IRS threatened to take action against his church unless it complied with their requests to turn over records. Jeffress claimed that he never knowingly made any false or misleading statements as part of his explanation to the IRS.