Televangelist Benny Hinn had his office headquarters in North Texas raided by the U.S. Postal Service and IRS criminal investigators Wednesday afternoon.
Agents who showed up at the scene were photographed carrying boxes of documents from inside Hinn’s headquarters. Agents were again at Hinn’s office Thursday.
“It looked like a big raid – people everywhere, police people everywhere out there, and just rushing in,” John Ebert, who works next door to Hinn’s office, told KXAS-TV.
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— Lauren Zakalik (@wfaalauren) April 26, 2017
The IRS, which also investigated Hinn in 2005, has not been alone in its efforts to investigate Hinn’s finances.
In 2007, Hinn and several other high-profile evangelists were investigated by a Senate Finance Committee about the use of church-owned airplanes, luxury homes and credit cards by pastors and their families. By the time the investigation ended four years later, no penalties against Hinn or the other religious leaders were filed.
Ole Anthony, who runs a non-profit called the Trinity Foundation, has also been investigating the popular televangelist.
The Trinity Foundation is dedicated to monitoring religious fraud, which Anthony claims is the most common type of fraud committed across the world.
“There is more fraud in the name of God, not just in America, but in the world, than any other kind of fraud,” Anthony said.
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One particular point of interest to Anthony is a promise Hinn made in 1999 to construct a $30 million healing center in Irving, Texas.
Even though Hinn raised millions of dollars for the project, it never came to fruition.
“What happened to the money? Same thing that always happens. It goes to meet the needs of Benny and his confidants,” Anthony said.
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