CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Charlotte minister has been indicted for income tax fraud, mail fraud and lying to federal agents.
According to the IRS Criminal Investigation Division in Charlotte, Anthony L. Jinwright was charged on April 21, with five counts of tax evasion, five counts of tax perjury, one count of lying to federal agents, and three counts of mail fraud.
According to the indictment, Jinwright attempted to evade his federal tax obligations by failing to report more than $800,000 in taxable income, including at least $75,000 in income earned by his wife between 2001 and 2006.
The IRS also alleges that Jinwright owes between $200,000 and $400,000 in additional taxes for those years alone.
Jinwright has been the Senior Pastor at the Greater Salem Church in Charlotte since 1981. He also owns and operates AL Jinwright Funeral Services in Charlotte. He is also the founder of AL Jinwright Ministries.
The federal indictment says Jinwright has lived a lavish lifestyle. WBTV discovered he's been living in a Cornelius mansion once owned by NFL legend Reggie White. The indictment says Jinwright has been leasing the home for $21,000 a month.
Jinwright owns another big home nearby in Cornelius. It's not occupied and has a for sale sign. Neighbors say when Jinwright and his wife lived there, they kept to themselves and wouldn't even wave at them when they drove by.
The indictment says Greater Salem Church gave Jinwright tens of thousands of dollars a year to rent fancy cars. In all he received an average of over half a million bucks a year in salary and perks for six years. The indictment says his wife also received over $800,000 from the church during the same period.
While Jinwright is the head of a church in Charlotte, he grew up in Wilmington where much of his family still lives.
Family said faith is a huge part of their upbringing and the Jinwrights believe faith is what will get them through these allegations.
Ruby Jinwright Jacobs is an elder in her congregation and was a pastor for many years. She was shocked to hear the news that her relative has been indicted for tax evasion.
"He's always worked in the church and he knows what is good and what is bad and I just don't believe that he would have done things that way," said Ruby.
Ruby and the rest of Jinwright's extended family say they are praying for him.