COVINGTON, KY - A northern Kentucky minister was convicted today for evading the payment of hundreds of thousands of dollars in income taxes.
A federal jury in Covington convicted 63-yeard old Ronald Weinland on five counts of tax evasion. The jury rendered the verdict after nearly four hours of deliberations following eight days of trial.
Testimony at trial proved that Weinland, the minister of Church of God – Preparing for the Kingdom of God, diverted approximately $4.4 million dollars of church donations to personal use. He failed to report the donations as income on his tax returns from 2004 through 2008 and as result did not pay approximately 244,00.00 in taxes.
In some years Weinland only claimed approximately $35,400 of income. He also did not report the existence of his bank account in Switzerland which held the money he obtained from donations. Additionally he didn’t report interest he made from that account.
Evidence showed that Weinland used the church contributions to buy jewelry, automobiles, fund vacations and pay his mortgage and utilities.
According to evidence, Weinland placed church money into his personal bank accounts.
Kerry B. Harvey, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and Christopher R. Pikelis, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, jointly made the announcement.
The investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service. Assistant United States Attorney Robert K. McBride represented the U.S. Attorney’s Office in this case.
Weinland is scheduled to be sentenced on September 24. If convicted, Weinland faces a maximum prison sentence of five years on each count. Any sentence would be imposed by the court after consideration of the United States Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of sentences