FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
TUESDAY - November 1, 2005
GREENVILLE - United States Attorney Frank D. Whitney announced that U. S. District Judge Malcolm Howard has granted a motion by the government requiring REVEREND JIM WHITTINGTON OF WORLD DELIVERANCE CRUSADE, INC. to make monthly installment payments of $5,500.00 to satisfy the $866,032.00 in victim restitution he was ordered to pay as a result of his criminal conviction in 1992.
At a hearing on October 6, 2005, the Financial Litigation Unit for the United States Attorney’s Office reported to Judge Howard that Whittington has only paid $15,600.00 toward the victim restitution, but receives a substantial economic benefit from the church he is affiliated with – World Deliverance Crusade, Inc. The government showed that Whittington uses funds from the church entity to maintain his lifestyle while avoiding the criminal judgment. Personal expenses of Whittington’s paid for by the church entity included staying at the Ritz-Carlton in Jamaica, jewelry purchases from international jewelers, thousands of dollars in men’s clothing, spa treatments and a country club membership in Greenville, North Carolina.
In the Order, Judge Howard found that Whittington diverted checks from individual contributors into his personal bank account. Judge Howard also stated, “This reckless and unnecessary spending would, under normal circumstances, be a matter left to the scrutiny of each of the sheered sheep in defendant’s flock. Here, however, the court itself voices its displeasure with defendant’s financial dealings because he has shown blatant and flagrant disregard for a prior court order and for the legitimate financial expectations of the victim of his past crimes.”
The Financial Litigation Unit of the U. S. Attorney’s Office collects money owed to the federal government in the form of restitution to victims of federal crimes, criminal fines, civil and criminal fraud, civil and criminal forfeitures, and other matters. AUSA Joshua B. Royster represented the United States in this matter.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.