And Many False Prophets ….

It seems that something prophetic is going to happen today.  In case you’re interested, here’s someone else who likes calculating dates and drawing charts.


But just in case we survive today, the discussion may continue here of Weinland’s failure to warn of the recent hurricanes he no doubt called down upon us.  But perhaps he was distracted by reductions in revenues, particularly if he hasn’t yet paid the taxes he owes from 9 through 14 years ago.

What’s A Head?

Johnny Harrell and company continued to fill in for the imprisoned False Prophet Ronald Weinland on a trip to Virginia to see Dave Conley and company.  Perhaps Ronnie doesn’t have air conditioning in Club Fed, because he issued a fatwah allowing men to skip the suit and tie in hot weather.

I thought Johnny’s sermon title was apropo and adopted it as a title for this post. Johnny reminded PKG members not to use their own intellect.   Spiritual war is being waged against PKG, and some have given up and fallen recently.  But Satan’s attacks have make PKG stronger.  Storm clouds on the horizon with some embassies being closed (or maybe not) and trumpet blasts being prepared.
The Weinlands’ involvement in the legal system continues.  A hearing is scheduled in the case of the marriage of Audra and Chris which started 5 years ago and then was restarted when Ron’s lie about the location of the ceremony on on the marriage certificate was exposed.

BOONE           Scheduled Events: DOMESTIC, 8/27/2013 02:40 PM, 3B

Although Ron is in prison while Laura remains free to roam the planet, that won’t necessarily continue — she’s not out of the woods yet. Judge Reeves did not give Ron a sentence enhancement for leading a criminal enterprise because he considered Laura to be an equal conspirator.  According to trial transcripts, the majority of the evaded income was in 2007 and 2008 when the Weinlands bought 3 BMWs shipping 2 of them in opposite directions across the Altlantic.  The statute of limitations is 6 years.  The clock on that doesn’t begin ticking until the filing due date, and stops ticking whenever the accused is out of the jurisdiction.  So the feds have until after April of next year to bring an indictment against Laura for 2007.

And then there are the years after 2008 to consider.  I rather suspect that the Weinlands didn’t change their behavior adequately even though they knew they were under criminal investigation.  I wonder if they declared the legal fees for Ron’s defense on their income tax.  Tick, tock.

According to rumors, PKG suffered another blow recently with the departure of Greg Chipps.  Greg was the PKG IT department, and developed and supported the Elder Management Console which reportedly has been shut down because no one else knows how to run it.  Greg was also the inspiration behind Ron’s Google Ad campaign which contributed to his downfall when the bank reported to the IRS large sums of money flowing through bank accounts of the church and Ron’s own personal accounts.  Update: other sources indicate that Greg has not indeed left PKG and is still drinking down the Flavor Aid.  If this version is true, then hopefully not for much longer.

Palmisano Winds it Up

Trial transcripts are available on the Criminal Case page linked in the banner at the top.  Agent Palmisano’s testimony is included in two parts:   Direct examination and Cross Examination with Redirect.

After discussing False Prophet Ronald Weinland’s credit card account activity consisting of both church and personal charges and which was paid in full each month using funds transferred to personal accounts from church accounts, Agent Palmisano discussed other transactions which were determined to be income to Weinland. These included:
— Insurance payments for the Weinlands and their children
— Paying off the loan for Jeremy’s BMW
— Donna Kautz repaid  a church loan via a check which was deposited into a personal account
— A vehicle paid for by the church was sold and the proceeds put into a personal account.

During the course of Agent Palmisano’s testimony, annual amounts for each of the following were given:
— Transfers from Church Accounts to Weinland’s personal accounts which included funds to pay off credit card balances and salary amounts
— Church expenses paid from Weinland’s personal credit cards
— Salary and parsonage allowances reported on Weinland’s tax returns
— Net Unreported Income
From the above I calculated what the other income and adjustments benefiting Weinland were.

The testimony also covered two checks totaling $290,000 written by Weinland during 2007 from a personal account and negotiated by him at UBS in Switzerland to deposit in his Swiss bank accounts there.

During the cross examination, the defense challenged Agent Palmisano’s expertise and training for analyzing church transactions. Agent Palmisano did make use of other resources within the IRS when it came to technical questions concerning tax matters for religious organizations.  In the end it came down to common sense judgments along with input from church members and Audra to determine which would be church expenses.  Palmisano gave Ron the benefit of the doubt in some cases, for example allowing as church expenses his additions to his wine collection if purchases were about the same time as a holy day.  I expect that in reality local elders buy a cheap bottle of wine for the small amount consumed by their group during the Passover ceremony.

The defense challenged Agent Palmisano’s inclusion of the $290,000 deposited in the Swiss bank account as part of the $372,023 she determined as net unreported income in 2007. The defense pointed out that Johnny Harrell was given signatory authority over the Swiss bank account in a power of attorney executed June 2, 2004 which was a year and a half after the account was opened. Agent Palmisano was not told of this power of attorney during the investigation and didn’t learn of it until just prior to the trial.

There were a number of objections during an exchange concerning the 2002 sermon in which Weinland stated he was opening his Swiss bank account . Agent Palmisano did not listen to the sermon until the investigation was concluded and Ron’s attorneys presented a transcript. There was no cassette tape of a direct recording sent out as was the PKG custom of the time. This sermon was not posted on the PKG website until 2010 and from the quality was most likely a recording by a member at the other end of a telephone conference line.

The defense also asked Agent Palmisano about the $400,296 wire transfer in December of 2008, which was the return of Swiss funds Ron mentioned in December of 2008. Agent Palmisano did not include this figure in offsetting Weinland’s unreported income since it was wired directly to a church account and did not go through a personal account. This amount is more than the $290,000 transactions during the period for 2004 through 2008 for which Weinland was charged. But it is still much less than the $290,000 plus the $300,000 I inferred from other statements and currency fluctuations had been used to open the account. Or still less than the $490,000 figure arrived at by adding Ron’s claim that he was opening the account with $200,000 and adding the $290,000 deposited in 2007. There was discussion of another $86,000 transferred in January of 2009. This transaction was after the period for which Ron was being investigated. And also after the time frame Ron stated in his December of 2008 sermon that the money would be transferred back to the US.

The total credit card expenditures in the categories given in the prior post over the 5-year period was $593,584.14 of which $103,174.96 was airfare for people besides Ron’s travel for church business. Most of this airfare was for Laura to globetrot with Ron, but quite a bit was for other family members to travel.  Excluding all of this airfare, that’s $490,409 in personal credit card expenditures in 5 years. Compare that to the gross income reported on Weinland’s tax returns for the same period of $396,276, and that’s credit card expenses alone exceeding reported income by an average of around $20,000 for each of the years of the investigation.

On top of that would be other payments from checking accounts such as mortgage and car loan payments. Deducting the $290,000 deposited into the Swiss bank account and $95,000 for Laura’s travel from $1.053 million of net unreported income still leaves $668K  of unreported income over a 5-year period.

That’s $668K excluding the $290,000 deposited in the Swiss bank account in 2007 and airfare for Laura’s travel and that of Weinland’s other family members which was part of the defense cross examination.  Ron would have PKG members believe that it’s all just a misunderstanding about the Swiss bank accounts and Laura’s travel.

Agent Palmisano Sorts it Out

Here is the second of my series of posts concerning Agent Palmisano’s testimony in the criminal trial of False Prophet Ronald Weinland. After finding numerous personal and church bank accounts, she found a number of credit card accounts. As far as loans, she found a mortgage and 3 car loans. After settling Ron’s July of 2008 motion to quash her summonses for his financial records from these financial institutions, she was able to obtain financial records.

Trial transcripts are available on the Criminal Case page linked in the banner at the top.  Agent Palmisano’s testimony is included in two parts:   Direct examination and Cross Examination with Redirect.

Agent Palmisano took the records she obtained and created a database of all transactions through Weinland’s personal accounts and did some accounting to ensure that the records balanced. Because Weinland commingled his personal expenses with those of the church, it was necessary for her to understand the operations of the church to decided which expenses were actually church expenses. For example, the charges for Google advertising were determined to be church expenses and not counted as personal expenses. In order to understand the operations of the church, Agent Palmisano also interviewed members and elders, including Terry Wrozek, Johnny Harrell, Ralph Dowd, and Steve Dalrymple.

Since Weinland commingled personal expenses with church expenses on his payments, particularly with his credit card charges, it was necessary to categorize them as to legitimate church expenses or personal expenses. She utilized information gained from interviewing church members to understand the operation of the church in evaluating expenses. After excluding expenses determined to be church expenses, Agent Palmisano grouped expenses paid from Weinland’s personal accounts into categories of personal expenses.

The first category was travel expenses for others in Weinland’s family. She excluded all of Weinland’s travel, even some that was probably personal. A good deal of this included travel for Laura to accompany Ron, but during Audra’s testimony it was revealed that payments were made for other family members to travel during 2008 when Weinland’s children were married. Weinland paid for his mother to travel from western Kansas when Jeremy was married, and travel for Jeremy’s wife from Europe and Jeremy and Patricia’s honeymoon in Cancun’. Chris and Audra traveled to Europe to get married.

Other categories of personal expenses were:
• Art, from various galleries and for tapestries, most of which was purchased in Las Vegas.
• Automobile. Agent Palmisano excluded all expenses for Ron’s BMW as church related even though some of his use of the vehicle was personal She did include as personal expense the other BMWs that Ron bought in 2007 for his kids.
• Cash, relatively small at around one thousand dollars.
• Entertainment. Including the Total Resolve Cruise and the Alaskan Cruise. Also movies, tours, etc.
• Fees and services, such as Dry cleaning, cable, items for pet clinic, pet resort, emergency systems, which is his security system, either his or Audra’s, Insight cable, TruGreen Chemlawn for lawn applications.
• Insurance, auto, homeowners, and medical coverage for Ron, Laura, Audra, and Jeremy.
• Jewelry, and the names of 10 jewelry stores were given.
• Lodging, particulary in Las Vegas.
• Medical, for unreimbursed expenses such as glasses and dental.
• Personal services, such as spa, hair salons, tanning salons, and a tailor.
• Retail. Seems that the Weinlands like to shop at Tommy Bahama. Also Victoria’s Secret, TriVita, and Nordstrom’s.
• Utilities, power, trash, phone.

After categorizing the expenses as personal, Agent Palmisano reviewed the list with Steve Dalrymple and asked if he could categorize any as church expenses. She repeated this process with Audra, but this was only after court action in 2009 which was needed to legally compel her to comply with summonses.

Three short weeks before the trial, the defense finally responded with records including receipts. Agent Palmisano reviewed these records which in the most part supported her earlier analysis. There was one credit card statement paid in January of 2009 which was after the investigation period, but since these were for December of 2008 expenses she analyzed them to make further adjustments reducing the expenses categorized as personal by around $200,000.

In December of 2008, Weinland made his third trip to Europe of the year and his second trip to Israel to kick off the restart of Ron and Laura’s tenure as the Two Witnesses, but in between took a vacation in Egypt (the real one, not the spiritual one). While I haven’t seen the actual records, I expect this was all categorized as a church expense.

In the next post, we get to the bottom line.

Satan’s Lash

After Senior Elder / Bookkeeper Audra Weinland Little finished her lengthy testimony in the criminal trial of False Prophet Ronald Weinland, it was the turn of the case special agent.

Trial transcripts are available on the Criminal Case page linked in the banner at the top.  Agent Palmisano’s testimony is included in two parts:   Direct examination and Cross Examination with Redirect.

Special Agent Palmisano has held that title for 21 years. She is currently current a supervisory special agent with her promotion during January 2011. She was assigned to the Florence, KY office while a special agent, and then to Lexington, KY after her promotion.

Agent Palmisano’s education includes a bachelor’s degree in accounting before becoming a special agent, and then a master’s degree in accountancy from Northern Kentucky University in 2005 with a minor in taxation. This degree was obtained under an IRS scholarship program for which there was strong competition from 350 applicants for 25 slots. (Unlike the Church of God – PKG scholarship program for which there was only one slot and no competition for Jeremy.)

Special Agent Palminso trained her at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) operated by the Department of the Treasury. This included 2 ½ to 3 months of general law enforcement training including firearms handling, and about the same length of time for training on IRS criminal investigation. This included training different methods of proof for determining income including the specific item method which includes checks and credit card charges. There is also an annual training requirement for Continuing Professional Education.

In late April or early May of 2008, Agent Palmisano received information from one of Weinland’s banks under the Bank Secrecy Act concerning the large transactions through the church and personal accounts the Weinlands had there. She reviewed Weinland’s tax returns and other public sources and after reviewing this information opened a full investigation at the end of June, 2008.

On July 2, 2008 Special Agent Palmisano along with Special Agent Valentine confronted Ron Weinland at his $381,000 home on a golf course. They arrived at 10:55 AM. In accordance with IRS policy, they displayed their badges and credentials. Weinland admitted them inside and the interview was conducted at his dining room table. Agent Palmisano informed him of his rights as required by IRS guidelines.

The discussion started with his position in the church and his salary, which was $5900/month during the years 2004 through 2007 and then increased to $8750/month in 2008. But of this salary he deducted 50% as a parsonage allowance, to include his mortgage payment, taxes, utilities, and maintenance.

Special Agent Palmisano brought along copies of Weinland’s 2003, 2004, and 2005 tax returns, and Laura made copies of their 2006 and 2007 tax returns. When asked about personal and church bank accounts, he listed the financial institutions. He went on to disclose foreign bank accounts at which tithes were accumulated and forwarded to Cincinnati headquarters.

When asked about any other foreign accounts, he disclosed his Swiss bank accounts, stating that these were church funds held in his name and that he had made 4 annual deposits of $100,000 each for a total of $400,000. This contradicts statements he made in his December, 2002 sermon in which he indicated he planned to open the account with $200,000 and statements made in May, 2003 which indicated with historical currency fluctuations that the account was initially funded with closer to $300,000.

Agent Palmisano attempted to find out about the operations of the church, at which point Weinland became defensive. When asked for financial records, he claimed to have problems with a computer system set up by Greg Chipps. At the close of the interview, Agent Palmisano gave him a summons for the church records. She did not receive them until 3 weeks before the trial when she was buried with 14,000 pages of records.

During the next sermon on July 5 following Agent Palmisano’s visit, Ron mentioned great trials and Satan lashing out. Agent Palmisano issued summonses to numerous financial institutions that same month. Weinland filed a civil motion to quash the summons, making the investigation public knowledge which was published on a certain blog in August of 2008.

Yet More Time for Ron

(at Covington)

Criminal Action No. 2: 11-70-DCR-001
*** *** *** ***
The Court has received the Presentence Report in this matter and notes that it contains lengthy objections by the parties. As a result, the sentencing hearing will take more time than previously allotted. Therefore, being sufficiently advised, it is hereby ORDERED that the sentencing hearing previously scheduled in this matter for Monday, October 29, 2012, shall be RESCHEDULED for Wednesday, November 14, 2012, beginning at the hour of 10:00 a.m., at the United States Courthouse in Covington, Kentucky.

This 19th day of October, 2012.
/s/ Danny C. Reeves
United States District Judge


So Ron gets to wear the ankle bracelet of humility for a couple of weeks longer while he watches cable TV in the basement of his mansion on the golf course.  The new sentencing date is exactly 4 years since the Seventh Seal was opened for the second time, and 6 years since he sent “2008 — God’s Final Witness” to the publisher.  Also 1 year and 4 days after being indicted.

Testimony of Donna Kautz

Here is the testimony of PKG member Donna Kautz who lives comfortably (but not as comfortably as Ron and Laura) a few miles away from the golf course.  Donna’s answers are preceded by “A”, and “Q” by the attorney examining her.  Since Donna was a government witness, the prosecution led off.

Q Good morning, ma’am. How are you today?
A Good morning. Thank you, fine.
Q What is your name?
A Donna Kautz.
Q You live in Burlington, Kentucky?
A Yes.
Q How long have you lived in Burlington?
A Six years, it will be.
Q Six years soon?
A Uh-huh.
Q Do you know Mr. Ronald Weinland?
A Yes, I do.
Q How do you know Mr. Weinland?
A He’s the pastor of our church.
Q And is that Church of God – Preparing for the Kingdom of God?
A Yes, it is.
Q All right. I would like to ask you how you got to know Mr. Weinland initially?
A Through my sister and my niece, they — we were looking for  the church and came across the Church of God – PKG and joined it in 1999.
Q In 1999. Thank you.
A Yeah.
Q In 1999, where were you living, what part of the country?
A Wisconsin.
Q And had you had any affiliation with the United Church of God or the Worldwide Church of God yourself?
A No.
Q All right. How did you come to find Mr. Weinland?
A My niece, Cathy, found him.
Q How did she come to learn of him, do you know?
A She read a couple of articles he had written online and decided this is — he was speaking the truth and that’s where we were going to go.
Q Okay. The — when you first met Mr. Weinland or he became your pastor, what church were you involved in?
A Really, one of the small scattered churches, but there was only a few people.
Q I didn’t ask the question very well. Was Mr. Weinland with the United Church of God when you first met him?
A No.
Q Was it a Church of God in the Toledo area that he was —
A Yes. Yes.
Q Okay. Fine. Did you know anything about the structure of the Church of God in Toledo?
A Not really.
Q You weren’t a board member or anything of that nature?
A No. No.
Q So you’re just a regular member?
A Just a regular member.
Q All right. And how is it that you came to stay with Mr. Weinland when it became Church of God – Preparing for the Kingdom of God?
A We — he was speaking the truth, what we believe is the truth, and we could see it and we joined the church.
Q So you follow him because of his teachings; is that correct?
A Yes.
Q When you say he was speaking the truth, could you elaborate for us what you mean by that?
A I don’t know what you mean.
Q I’m trying to understand why you follow Mr. Weinland’s teachings.
A You mean my religious belief?
Q Yes.
A It was — it’s everything, it’s following the laws of the Bible, it’s the way we live.
Q Maybe I — let me ask it a better way. Did you feel that Mr. Weinland’s teachings were consistent with your understanding of God’s law?
A Yes.
Q Okay. Thank you.
A Completely.
Q Is that a better question?
A Yes.
Q What is your understanding of governance in the church?
A It is from the top down.
Q What does that mean?
A It means God to his son, from his son to the ministry.
Q And then the members?
A Right.
Q In the Church of God – Preparing for the Kingdom of God, what is the, for lack of a better term, hierarchy as you see it?
A In the physical church itself? Would be the ministry.
Q Well, do you have a different — do you see a difference, ma’am?
A I just didn’t understand what you meant.
Q What’s the structure of your church?
A Okay. There’s the regular — the lay members.
Q Uh-huh.
A And then we have associate elders, we have elders, we have senior elders, we have evangelists, and then we have the ministry.
Q Who is in the ministry?
A Well, I consider Ron our minister, but I think that the church really considers the elders and the senior elders, they would be part of the ministry.
Q So that’s the general organization of the church as it is now; correct?
A Yes, I believe.
Q Yes, ma’am, I’m only asking about what you know.
So in this hierarchy – and I’m just using that word for lack of a better one – are there different duties among the various levels?
A Yeah, a little bit.
Q Okay. So if you’re an elder, how are your duties different than if you’re a member?
A Okay. The first one would be associate elder.
Q Okay.
A And they can anoint. They can lay hands on at baptism, go to a senior elders. They could also do maybe, besides those two duties, some counseling if they’re, you know, able. And then to the ministry, of course. It would be all of those.
Q So there are more — there’s more authority as you go up the hierarchy?
A Yes.
Q Okay. Perfect. Let me ask you, that’s sort of the practical organizational structure of the church as it is now. Do you know what the legal structure of the church is?
A No, I don’t.
Q Let me talk — ask you about the period of 2004 to 2008. What was the structure of the church in those years?
A Well, we had, of course, the ministry. We didn’t have associate elders, we had elders, and I think we had a senior elder. I don’t think we had evangelists at that time.
Q So since 2008, it sounds as though the hierarchy of the organization has expanded; is that right?
A A little as far as the associate elders. I’m not sure about evangelists. Associate elders have been added, yes.
Q Do you know how many elders and associate elders there are in the church?
A No, I don’t.
Q Okay. Do you know why the hierarchy has been expanded?
A No, not really. I think it was needed at the time maybe. I don’t know, I can’t answer that truthfully.
Q Did Mr. Weinland ever talk about why it was expanding?
A I don’t know. I mean — well, we do, but we don’t. See, this is kind of confusing for me.
Q I’m sorry.
A Because we believe time is growing short, we needed people that would be able to baptize, we needed evangelists that would once in a while take over and have a sermon, things like that. But —
Q When you say time is growing short, what do you mean?
A We just think that things are becoming critical in this world.
Q And what happens when things become critical?
A Anything can happen. Anything can happen.
Q Are you talking about the coming of Christ?
A Well, at one time he will. I’m not saying he is going to right this minute, but, yes, he will sooner or later. But even in economic times, the things, it’s — it’s not good.
Q You said that you believe that time is running short and you believe that’s why the ministry is expanding; is that fair?
A Yes, I guess so. I guess.
Q And how do you know time is running short?
A I watch the news. I mean —
Q Have you ever heard Mr. Weinland talk about time running short?
A Yes.
Q And what did he say about it?
A Time is running out.
Q Did he give you a time frame, a schedule?
A Well, we thought at one time it was very, very close, but we realize now that we probably have another year.
Q What was the date you thought it was going to end?
A May 27th.
Q Of this year?
A 2012.
Q Now, what’s the date?
A May — Pentecost of next year, I believe. I don’t know the date.
Q May 19th, 2013?
A May 19th. Okay.
Q You think that’s about right?
A Yeah.
Q Okay. What are you doing personally to prepare for end time on a practical side? Obviously you’re preparing on the spiritual side. What are you doing on a practical side?
A We have food in the house that would last us for a short time if the trucks were to stop running, if the rails stop running, if the gas shortage fills up. We have a little food, we have a little water to last us a couple of weeks, a month.
Q And when you say “we,” who do you mean?
A My son and myself. We live together.
Q So you and your family?
A Right, yes.
Q Are you holding these items to share with other church members during that time?
A No, I don’t live by other church members, but it would be for my neighbors if they needed it.
Q Okay. And what is it about end time that you think you will need it? Is it because of some breakdown in society or something —
A Yeah, I do. Yes.
Q Are you — what things are you doing, again, on the practical side to prepare for continuing the church’s method when the end of the age comes?
A I don’t understand.
Q As a member —
A Yeah.
Q — are you taking any practical steps to be able to continue to spread the church’s message when the end of the age comes?
A Not that I know of, just living our life.
Q What would be your primary concern at the time the end of the age comes, do you think?
A Are you talking physical?
Q Practical side.
A If something were to happen?
Q Yes, ma’am. What’s on the practical side, how do you foresee what you’ll have to do on a daily basis to survive?
A Eat, have some food and have shelter. Hopefully, I’ll be in my house.
Q Have you been storing any items, have you bought any gold —
A No.
Q — to barter with?
A No.
Q Have you bought any diamonds to barter with?
A No.
Q Have you bought any jewelry that you expect to barter with?
A No.
Q Do you have some of those kinds of things you might barter with?
A No.
Q I would like to jump back in time a little bit, ma’am. You told us earlier that you were in Wisconsin.
A Uh-huh.
Q And you moved to this area about six years ago; correct?
A Yes.
Q Could you tell us about how you came to this area? What happened in your life that brought you here?
A Well, my husband died —
Q Uh-huh.
A — and — but I came down to observe Pentecost one year and I loved it. The flowers were growing and it was green, it was beautiful, and I went back home to 12 inches of snow. So I decided I’m getting out of here.
Q I understand that. I’m from Detroit originally, I understand. When you came down here, did you have any particular difficulty once you moved down here?
A As far as my —
Q Any financial difficulty?
A Yes.
Q What happened?
A Well, I had sold my house in Wisconsin and I had some savings and I had put it in the local bank. And the president of the bank happened to be a friend, because it was a very, very small town. And he said, oh, don’t worry about it, go down there and do what you got to do, and he said, I’ll transfer your money. Well, I got down here and three weeks later I couldn’t get any money. And I kept calling, and he said, well, you’re going to have to drive back up here. And I said, no, I can’t do that.
Meanwhile, my bills were due, my mortgage payment was due and I didn’t have any money. So I talked to the Weinlands and they borrowed me some money to pay my bills until I could get my finances in order.
Q So the church lent some money to you?
A Yes.
Q Do you remember how much that was?
A It was $3,000.
Q Did you pay it back?
A I paid it back right away, yes.
Q How did you pay it back?
A Cash — I mean, check, I believe.
Q It was a check?
A I believe I gave them a check.
Q You wrote a check. Who did you write the check to?
A I don’t remember who I made it out to, if I made it out to Laura Weinland or if I made it out to the Church of God.
Q If I showed you a copy of the check, do you think that might refresh your recollection?
A Yes.
MR. MCBRIDE: One minute, ma’am.
Q Ma’am, I’m going to show you this, you take a look at it, and then when you’re done, just look up and I’ll ask the CSO to retrieve it from you.
A Yes, that’s my check.
Q Does that refresh your recollection?
A Yes, made out to Laura.
Q Pardon? Who did you made that out to?
A Laura Weinland.
Q Thank you very much. Now, you continue to be a member of PKG; correct?
A Yes.
Q What congregation do you attend services at?
A Sharonville, Ohio.
Q Sharonville, Ohio?
A Yes.
Q Do you meet at the La Quinta Inn typically?
A Yes, we do. Yes.
Q As a member of the congregation, do you incur any expenses related to renting the room or anything of that nature?
A I have no — no part of that. I believe they do, I believe that we rent a room once a week.
Q What is — I’m sorry?
A I believe we rent a room there.
Q Who’s the elder that typically takes care of that?
A Steve Dalrymple, I believe. He’s the senior elder.
Q I would like to ask from a — kind of a practical point of view what are the steps or phases at the Sabbath meeting. So when you get there, what happens? A Well, we usually try to get there a little bit early, because it’s really scattered, so we like to get there and talk and, you know, things like that.
Q Visit with people you know?
A Visit, yeah, with the congregation. And we sit down and the service starts and we listen to the sermon. It’s usually two hours.
Q Not in terms of content, but in terms of the nature of the service or the sermon, how it is delivered to you typically?
A Over the Internet.
Q And who is giving the sermon typically?
A Mr. Weinland.
Q And is it usually live over the Internet; do you recall?
A Ninety-nine percent of the time, unless it’s a holy day and they have to be prerecorded, yeah.
Q Are there times Mr. Weinland has come to your congregation to give the sermon?
A Yes. Yes.
Q And you said sometimes it’s prerecorded. What do you mean by that?
A Well, if the sermon is given in Australia or New Zealand and they’re like 14 or 17 hours ahead of us, they listen to the sermon, and then it’s downloaded, because we usually listen at 2:30 in the afternoon. So then at 2:30 in the afternoon, we would listen to it here, so it has to be prerecorded.
Q So it’s a practical issue?
A Yeah, timing.
Q Timing. Are there other individuals who give sermons?
A There are a couple. Very seldom, though.
Q So it’s almost always Mr. Weinland?
A Yes.
Q Why is it always Mr. Weinland?
A He’s the head of our church, he’s our minister.
Q Do you find the sermons that are given that you listen to
by recording are the same quality and of the same purpose as the
ones that are given live?
A Absolutely. Absolutely.
Q In the 2004 to 2008 time frame, were there any women ordained in the church?
A 2004 to what?
Q 2008.
A I believe that’s when associate elders were made, then there would have been some women. I don’t have the exact timing on that. I think it was 2008, but I cannot be definite.

{Actually, it was early in 2010}
Q From your point of view as a member, how did it come about that women were beginning to be ordained in 2008 or sometime shortly thereafter? What happened? Anything?
A Well, I believe it was the timing and that it was finally brought about that women had the same rights as a man in our church, that what we call the curse was lifted, that women have the same status as a man. I mean, we work together, but they stand side by side. So women were ordained to be elders.
Q Who brought this awareness into the church?
A Mr. Weinland did.
Q Is it fair to say that with regard to all doctoral matters, Mr. Weinland is the source of that?
A Well, there was a lot of doctrine when Mr. Armstrong was head of the church, but since he has been the head of the church, yes, it comes through Mr. Weinland.
Q Thank you. I want to talk a little bit about some of the financial issues in the church. Were you aware that Mr. Weinland had taken some money to Switzerland?
A Yes.
Q What is your understanding of when that happened?
A Of when it happened?
Q Uh-huh.
A I’m not exactly sure when it happened. I remember hearing about it in a sermon. Is that what you mean?
Q Sure. What did he say?
A Well, at the time, the economy was kind of tanking again, I think, and he —
Q What year was this?
A It was kind of going down, the economy was not, you know —
Q What year?
A I’m not sure what year it was.
Q Do you think it was before 2004?
A I don’t know. I don’t know.
Q I’m just trying to get a point —
A I really, really don’t know. But it was because if things were going to be bad, he wanted to have money in Switzerland that the church could use to print more books, to send out books, to make CDs that we were sending out — or cassettes that were being sent out to people, just doing for the church. And he — he — it was in a sermon, everybody knew about it and nobody had a problem with it.
Q Where were the books published?
A Where were they published? I’m not sure where they were published. I think a couple of different places.
Q So you thought at the time the money was moved there that end time was upon you or close —
A No, no, no, but it was just the time to move it and in case things were to come, you know, down the road a little bit. It was just to have it there in case.
Q If I told you that sermon was in 2002, would that sound about right to you?
A It could be. I don’t know. I’m not going to speculate.
Q So is there any circumstance in which the church would have brought the money back to the United States based on the economy?
A Right, he brought money back to put into more advertising on Google, which was — he had told us at the time how much it was costing.
Q Do you know when that was?
A No, I don’t.
Q Was it after 2008?
A You’ve got me. I don’t know. I really don’t.
Q Well, let me ask you some questions about the money and maybe I can just move this along. Do you know what account — whose name was on the account?
A No, I don’t.
Q Do you know what bank it was in?
A No, I don’t.
Q Do you know how many accounts there were?
A No, I don’t.
Q Do you how much money was there?
A No.
Q Do you have a sense?
A No.
Q If you needed that money, how would you have accessed it?
A How would I personally have accessed it?
Q Uh-huh.
A I probably would have asked Ron for some.
Q Do you know what currency the money was held in?
A If it was in Switzerland, I’m not sure. Euros maybe. I don’t know.
Q Ma’am, are you aware that the — we talked a little bit about the books. Have you ever participated in getting the books ready for distribution?
A Yeah, a couple of times.
Q Tell us about that.
A We would go over to Steve Dalrymple’s, that’s when I did it. It had been going on long before that, though. And we would go to the garage and we would stuff the books into the envelopes, the big mailings, and we would — they would be bound up in a machine, put — bag them up in great big bags and take them to the post office and that was it.
Q These books are available on the Internet for download for free, are they not?
A They’re all free. We also ship them for free, no cost to anyone.
Q No cost to the person receiving them?
A That’s right, we pay for it, the church.
Q “We” meaning the church pays for it?
A The church, yes.
Q So there’s shipping costs associated with that?
A Shipping, mailing, packaging, stamps, everything.
Q Office equipment?
A Yeah.
Q Mileage, all those things?
A Uh-huh.
Q When you ship the books, are they in paperback form?
A We did both. We had the paperback and we also did the hard copy for a while there.
Q Hardback copy?
A Yeah, I believe. I believe. I can’t put a hundred percent, it’s been a few years, so — but we do have hardcover ones, we do.
Q When you participated in getting the books ready to ship, was that at the Weinland’s home?
A Yes, we did it at the Weinland’s home one time, because I remember a reporter coming there at the time. And then Steve Dalrymple’s house.
Q Okay. So there are a couple of locations?
A Yes.
Q Ma’am, what is the source of income to the church?
A I don’t understand.
Q Do you tithe to the church?
A You tithe if you have a job where you actually make money. If you’re working and you bring home a paycheck, yes, you are to tithe.
Q What’s your understanding of first tithe? How would you explain it to somebody who wasn’t familiar with it?
A You tithe on your increase, whatever your increase is, what you make with your own hands.
Q And how often do you do that?
A I think most people do it about once a month. Some people probably do it whenever they — you know, if they’re paid weekly, paid monthly, paid, you know, bimonthly.
Q What is second tithe?
A Second tithe is the next tithe, 10 percent also, which we keep ourselves and we put away, and that is what we use when we go to the Feast of Tabernacles that we have money for our hotel rooms, that we have eight days of living, you know, away from home and we have — you know, we eat out and we just — we have a Feast of Tabernacles.
Q Does the church pay for those kind of expenses?
A No, that comes out of our 10 percent, our second title. That’s what the second tithe is for.
Q So pay for it yourself?
A To pay for our —
Q Well, what is third tithe?
A Third tithe is not instituted anymore, it hasn’t been for a while.
Q What is it?
A That was before there were government systems, the third tithe was used to help, say, a widow like me or we have a woman that has children and needs help and so the church gave them money like the Social Services do today.
Q Why does third tithe not happen anymore in your church?
A Because there are many governmental systems out there that fulfill those obligations.
Q And they are supported by what?
A Pardon?
Q How are they funded?
A Through taxes.
Q Taxes.
A And we pay our taxes, yes. Taxes first.
Q Taxes first?
A Yes, taxes first, yeah.
Q Has Mr. Weinland ever talked to you or preached to you about taxes?
A He says you give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and God what is God’s.
Q Well, what does that mean to you in relationship to taxes?
A Well, you pay your taxes. I mean, that’s what is expected of all of us, we pay our taxes. We try to live that way.
Q Is there any exemption for Mr. Weinland to that rule —
A No.
Q — based on your theology?
A No, I believe he pays his taxes.
Q When you send your tithes in to the church, do you receive any type of receipt for them?
A Yes, every three months, I believe it is, we receive a statement with how much we have paid. And like mine would always have a check number on it, the check number and the amount and the total for the end of the year, yes.
Q And did you look at those documents to see if they were accurate?
A Yes, yes, I usually check them according to my checkbook.
Q And are they accurate?
A Yes.
Q Do you know how they’re — who prepares those at the church?
A Audra does, Audra Little.
Q How do you send in your tithings?
A I usually either mail it or if I happen to see Audra at services, I’ll have it in an envelope and just hand it to her.
Q Ma’am, there’s a big binder there or maybe there’s one in front of you that should have some exhibit numbers.
A Uh-huh.
Q We’re looking for Exhibit No. 9c.
Q If I could help you, ma’am. Do you recognize that document?
A Yes, those are my tithing checks — well, mine would be
offering. I don’t tithe, I offer.
Q Why not?
A Because I live on a pension and we don’t tithe on pension and we don’t tithe on Social Security.
Q Well, what’s the nature of offering as opposed to tithing?
A It’s a freewill offering. We offer unto God as we feel we’ve been blessed.
Q There’s no direction of percentage or anything like that?
A No. No.
Q Whatever you feel how blessed you are?
A Yes.

MR. MCBRIDE: Your Honor, I ask that Government’s Exhibit No. 9c be admitted.
MR. CLINE: No objection.
THE COURT: Exhibit 9c will be admitted and you may display it.
MR. MCBRIDE: Thank you, ma’am.

Q Ma’am, would you just take a look at this document here? Just to confirm, is this one of your tithing records?
A Yes.
Q It comes to you from the church?
A Yes.
Q And what do you do with this document?
A At the end of the year, I usually claim it on my taxes, exemption.
Q As a —
A Charity, yes — or, no. I’m not sure what it’s called on the taxes.
Q But it’s something you can take from your taxes?
A Yes. Yes.

MR. MCBRIDE: Thank you, Your Honor. Those are all the questions I have of the witness.
THE COURT: All right. Thank you.
Mr. Cline, any questions?
MR. CLINE: Yes, Your Honor.
THE COURT: You may proceed.

Q Ms. Kautz, good morning.
A Good morning.
Q My name is John Cline and I represent Mr. Weinland. You and I haven’t met before, have we?
A No, we haven’t.
Q All right. You were asked a bunch of questions about some of your spiritual or religious beliefs. Do you recall that?
A Uh-huh.
Q Does it make you a little uncomfortable to be brought here and asked about your religious beliefs?
A Yeah, it does, because my spiritual beliefs, I don’t ask anybody else to believe them, I don’t question yours and I — personally, I may be wrong, but I don’t see what it has to do with the money I give.
Q All right. I may need to ask you a few more questions just to follow up on what you were asked before, and I apologize for that in advance. Have you been to Mr. Weinland’s home?
A Yes, I have.
Q About how many times have you been there?
A A dozen or so.
Q All right. And can you tell us what brought you there?
A I went there one time to do books, I have — I’ve been to two weddings there, social — just social visits, those kinds of things.
Q You’ve seen the house?
A Uh-huh.
Q Do you have a sense of how Mr. Weinland and Mrs. Weinland live?
A They’re comfortable.
Q Would you say that it’s lavish?
A No. I don’t think so, no.
Q Has Mr. Weinland been to your home?
A Has he what?
Q I’m sorry, I don’t speak very loudly. Has he been to your home?
A Yes, he has, he came over and measured it for me.
Q Did he?
A Yes. Yes.
Q You talked about — you were asked some questions about the role of women in the church and you talked about how men and women in the church stand side by side. Do you remember that?
A Yes. Yes, we do.
Q You’ve observed Mr. and Mrs. Weinland together; is that fair?
A Yes.
Q Would you say that they stand side by side in the work that they do?
A I think it’s the only perfect marriage I have ever seen in my life.
Q And would you say that they — in the church work that they do, that they do it together?
A They do it together. She is his helpmate.
Q You were asked about the governance of the church?
A Uh-huh.
Q The sort of top-down structure, I think that was your phrase?
A Yes.
Q I don’t want you to — take you back through your spiritual beliefs, but is that structure consistent with your spiritual beliefs?
A Yes. Yes, it is. It’s from God to his son to the ministry and I follow Ron as he follows God.
Q And I think you were asked whether Mr. Weinland set the theological tone or rules for the church and I think you said it comes through Ron. Do you remember saying that?
A Yes, it comes through Ron. It’s not of Ron’s doing. It’s not his orders, I mean, these are our beliefs.
Q When you were loaned some money, the $3,000 —
A Uh-huh.
Q — do you remember how that money came to you, in what form?
A You know, I tried to remember that and I cannot remember. I cannot remember, cause right at that time my life was really in a turmoil, I had just moved and I was having terrible, terrible problems, and I cannot remember if Laura gave me a check or because I bank at Fifth Third whether she may have deposited the check into my checking account. I don’t know. I cannot honestly say. I can’t.
Q And was it Laura, as you recall it —
A Yes.
Q — who gave you the check?
A Yes, because I called her up and talked to her and told her
what was happening.
Q Okay. Has Mr. Weinland been a — with Mrs. Weinland’s help, been a good pastor to you?

MR. MCBRIDE: Objection. May we approach, Your Honor?
THE COURT: Yes, you may.
MR. CLINE: You Honor what, Your Honor? I’ll withdraw
the question.
THE COURT: Counsel, come on up, if you would, please.
(Whereupon, the following discussion was had between the
Court and counsel at the bench, out of the hearing of the jury.)
THE COURT: I’m sorry, I’m not sure where we’re going with this, but this seems to be contrary to the order on the motion in limine.
MR. CLINE: That’s why I withdrew the question.
THE COURT: Counsel, you’re certainly aware of the nature of the order, both sides.
MR. CLINE: Yes, and I withdraw it for that reason.
THE COURT: All right. Be careful in the future.
MR. CLINE: Yes, sir.
(Whereupon, the following proceedings continued in open court.)

MR. CLINE: Ms. Kautz, that’s all my questions. Thank you.
THE COURT: The jury will disregard the last question to the witness, it’s not relevant to this proceeding. Ma’am, excuse me.

MR. MCBRIDE: I have more direct, if I could, Judge.
THE COURT: Yes, sir.
MR. MCBRIDE: I’m going to have to do this the old-fashioned way, if I may.
THE COURT: Yes, sir, that’s fine.

Q Ma’am, Mr. Cline asked you whether you had been to the Weinlands’ house; is that correct?
A Yes.
Q And you said you have been there for weddings, for putting the books together, and some other social gatherings.
A Uh-huh.
Q I want to show you a couple of pictures.
A Okay.
Q I want to show you what’s been previously and hastily marked as Government’s Exhibit 80, 81, 82, 83, 84. Would you look at these for me, ma’am? Look at each one, please, and tell me what it appears to be.
A This is front of their home.
Q Are those all pictures of the Weinlands’ house?
A Yes.
Q All right. Are they fair and accurate representations of their house?
A Yeah, uh-huh.

MR. MCBRIDE: Your Honor, I ask those exhibits be admitted.
MR. CLINE: No objection.
MR. MCBRIDE: May I retrieve them, Your Honor, and publish them?
THE COURT: Yes, you may, and while you’re getting those exhibits, you can go and get those if you need those.
MR. MCBRIDE: Thank you.
THE COURT: I will advise the jury that the documents2 just introduced are admitted, they are United States Exhibits 80, 81, 82, 83, and 84. And, Mr. McBride, you can display them to the jury if you wish to do so.
MR. MCBRIDE: I would. Thank you, Your Honor.

Q Ma’am, I know Mr. Cline asked you what you thought of their home. How did you describe it? I forget.
A It’s a very nice home, it is comfortable, but —
Q Yes.
A I have homes in my neighborhood that are bigger than that.
Q Yes, ma’am.
A I mean, I just don’t see that it’s lavish, I think that was the word.
Q That was how Mr. Cline described — asked you whether it was lavish; correct?
A Yes, I think that’s what he asked.
Q Well, let’s take a look at the picture. This is Government Exhibit No. 80. Let me see if I can — what view of the Weinland home is that?
A That is down towards the backyard.
Q When you attended the weddings, were you able to use this backyard area?
A I think some people were down there, but not everybody, most of us stayed out. There was a tent put up by the garage.
Q We’ll look at the garage in a minute. Whose wedding did you attend there, by the way?
A Audra’s wedding. Well, it was like the reception. I think she was married — her father married them privately, but they had like a small reception for the church.
Q Was this before or after they went to Germany? Do you know?
A Before who went to Germany?
Q Audra and her husband.
A It must have been after. No, the wedding had to be before. They wouldn’t have gone to Germany before. It would have to be after.
Q I would like to show you what’s been previously marked — or actually it’s been admitted as Government’s Exhibit 81. Is that also the Weinlands’ home?
A Yes.
Q What view of the Weinland home is that?
A That would be from the front basically.
Q Okay. So this is the front door area here?
A Where?
Q See where I made the dot? Is that kind of the front door there?
A Yes.
Q So the door is recessed behind the stone facade there, brick facade?
A Yes.
Q And this is in the subdivision of Triple Crown; is it not?
A Yes.
Q How would you characterize the subdivision of Triple Crown having been there?
A Very nice.
Q All right. Ma’am, is this the Weinlands’ garage?
A Yes, that’s their garage.
Q I’m going to span out so everybody can see the full size of that. And is that where you — is that where you were able to work on the books, inside the garage?
A No, we worked on the books downstairs in his family room.
Q So this is the first level here?
A Yes.
Q All right. And is that a two-car garage, do you know?
A I believe it’s a two-car, but I don’t think they can get two in there. The same as mine, you can’t get two in.
Q Too crowded?
A Yes.

THE COURT: Is that 82, Mr. McBride?
MR. MCBRIDE: I’m sorry, sir?
THE COURT: It’s 82. I don’t think —
MR. MCBRIDE: I’m sorry, sir, it is 82.
THE COURT: Thank you.

Q I’m just going to slide this over a little bit, because the Elmo is being a little difficult. And then is this like a porch area over here next to the garage?
A A porch area? No, I think that’s where you can pull a car in to park there.
Q Okay.
A It’s parking.
Q And, ma’am, I wanted to show you what’s been entered as Government Exhibit No. 83, that’s another view of the front; correct?
A Yes.
Q Finally, 84, another view of the front; correct?
A Yes.
That’s not showing up very well.
MR. MCBRIDE: Your Honor, those are all the questions I have.
THE COURT: All right. Thank you. Any recross on matters raised on redirect?
MR. CLINE: No, Your Honor.
THE COURT: All right. Now, ma’am, you may step down. Thank you.

Testimony of Ralph Dowd

Ralph Dowd is False Prophet Ronald Weinland’s traveling senior elder, having followed Ron on his travels extensively on his own nickel.  If I recall correctly he may now have PKG members under him in a geographic area of responsibility.

Ralph has been an elder at some level for a long time, having been ordained while still in WCG. After WCG broke up in 1995 (the apostasy), he was a member of the United Church of God for a time and actually was a member of the board for the the corporation for the local Cincinnnati congregation. Ralph’s son Ed is a UCG minister based in Wichita, KS.

The transcript below is for the cross examination by the defense. Ralph was a government witness and I don’t have a transcript of the government’s direct examination.

Q Good morning, Mr. Dowd.
A Good morning, sir.
Q If you have trouble hearing me —
A Yes, sir, I do, I’ve got a little hearing problem from 40 years working at General Motors.
Q I’ve got the same problem for a different reason, so I’ll try to speak up. Let me start by asking you about church expenses.
A Yes, sir.
Q Is it fair to say that you don’t have personal knowledge of the church’s expenses?
A No, sir, I don’t.
Q At one point you were asked, I think, who decided how to spend the church’s money and I think your answer was that you guessed it was Mr. Weinland, but you didn’t know? Do you recall that answer?
A Yes, sir.
Q Is it fair to say that, again, in terms of your personal knowledge you don’t know how those decisions are made?
A No, sir, I don’t.
Q Okay. You were asked some questions about the structure of the church?
A Yes, sir.
Q Do you recall those questions? And if I understand it right, it’s a — it’s a — what I’ll call a hierarchical structure running from God to Jesus Christ to Mr. Weinland to the evangelists to the elders and to the members; is that a fair summary?
A Yes, sir.
Q Is there a spiritual basis in your view for that structure?
A Yes, sir.
Q Can you explain what that is?
A Well, it’s just — it’s a way of life to us. The Bible tells us how to live and the scripture is there and a person that’s teaching it out of the scriptures is nothing — it’s just a way of life. And that’s what we look forward to, you know. And like it says, that your children can play out in the streets, wild animals will be — like the lion will be eating straw and the child can put his hand in a cobra’s den and won’t be bitten and we won’t have to worry about the pedophiles out there that bother our children or anything like that. It’s just a way of life where God’s government will be in force.
Q Let me ask you this: Do you see anything wrong with the way the church is structured?
A No, sir, I don’t.
Q You were asked — you testified I think that as a senior elder you’re not involved with church finances; correct?
A No, sir.
Q Do you see anything wrong with that?
A No, sir. It’s — once I write the check and send it in, that’s God’s money and whoever gets it, that’s their responsibility before God.
Q You were asked whether there’s a board of directors at the Church of God – PKG. Do you remember that question?
A Yes, sir.
Q And I take it there’s not, there’s not a board of directors?
A Not to my knowledge.
Q Do you see anything wrong with that —
A No, sir.
Q — as a senior elder?
A No, sir.
Q Is it consistent with your spiritual beliefs?
A Yes, sir.
Q You were asked whether there’s a finance committee at the Church of God – PKG. Do you recall that question?
A Yes, sir.
Q As a senior elder — and I take it the answer is not to your knowledge?
A Right.
Q As a senior elder of the church, do you see anything wrong with the fact that there’s not a finance committee?
A No, sir.
Q You were asked I think if you wanted to know something about the church finances who you would ask. Do you remember that question?
A Yes, sir.
Q And I think you said you would ask Mr. Weinland; right?
A Yes, sir.
Q Have you asked Mr. Weinland for any —
A No, sir.
Q — church information?
A I don’t think it’s any of my business, it’s his responsibility.
Q All right. So you’ve never made that inquiry to him —
A No, sir.
Q Now, you were asked some questions about a Swiss bank account? Do you remember —
A Yes, sir.
Q — those questions? And I think you testified that some years ago Mr. Weinland in a sermon mentioned to the church that he intended to put some of the church’s money in that Swiss bank — in a Swiss bank account; right?
A Yes, sir.
Q Do you recall that? Now, was it your understanding, as an elder in the church at the time, that the money that was going to be in the Swiss bank account was the church’s money?
A Yes, sir.
Q And that it was going to be held in that bank account for the benefit of the church?
A Yes, sir, because banks in America was falling, the government was baling them out, AIG was going under, and it was — the euro at that time was worth a lot more money than the United States and if the banks and stuff failed in the United States, then we would have something to keep the work going on.
Q The work of the church?
A Yes.
Q And did it matter to you, as an elder in the church, whose name actually appeared on that bank account?
A No, sir.
Q It was your understanding that that was the church’s money regardless of whose name was on the account; is that fair?
A Yes, sir.
Q Did you have any concern as an elder with Mr. Weinland putting the church’s money in a Swiss bank account?
A No, sir, I trusted him fully.
Q Did you think that was some kind of a misuse of the church’s money?
A No, sir.
Q All right. You were asked some questions about diamonds and — diamonds and gold and that kind of thing. Do you remember those questions?
A Yes, sir.
Q Did you have an understanding in the 2004 to 2008 period that the Weinlands were acquiring diamonds and valuable metal like that?
A I wasn’t sure of the metal, but I know that there was some diamonds bought, because back in the depression, back in the ’30s, diamonds kept their value of all things. So it was used — that in case we needed to barter or to keep the church afloat, we could sell the diamonds.
Q Was it any kind of a secret within the church that Mr. Weinland was acquiring diamonds on behalf of the church?
A Not to my knowledge.
Q You knew about it; right?
A Yes, sir.
Q Did you hear Mr. Weinland talk about it?
A He might have mentioned it, but I don’t know other than that.
Q All right. But as an elder of the church, you were aware that diamonds were being bought on behalf of the church; is that fair?
A Yes, sir. I even bought a few.
Q Did you have any concern about the church acquiring diamonds?
A No, sir.
Q Did you think that was any kind of a misuse of the church’s money?
A No, sir, because like I said, back in the depression diamonds was the only thing that kept its value up, you know, and the dollar was no good, you know. I know apples was five cents apiece and it was hard to come by five cents. But diamonds, to my knowledge through my father, they said that itkept its value.
MR. CLINE: All right. Thank you, sir. That’s all my questions.
THE WITNESS: You’re welcome, sir.

THE COURT: Mr. Nasson, any redirect of this witness?
MR. NASSON: Yes, sir.
Q Mr. Dowd, you had just told Mr. Cline that your understanding was that the church put the money in — that Mr. Weinland put the church’s money in Swiss bank accounts around 2002 because of possible bank failures?
A Yes, sir. Well, the economy of the United States was going down, people was losing their jobs and banks failing, insurance companies failing, investment firms.
Q You named AIG as one of those companies, sir?
A Yes, sir, because I had — I was involved with them.
Q Do you know whether the church has left this money over in Switzerland or whether they brought it back?
A Yes, sir, I believe they brought it back for the books.
Q When did they bring it back to use for the books?
A I don’t have that information.
Q Well, were the books published around — was the second book published around 2006 or so?
A I believe so.
Q Okay. So is it fair to say that the money was brought back from Switzerland — to your knowledge, the money was brought back from Switzerland around 2006?
A I don’t know when it was brought back, sir.
Q But it was brought back for the publication of the books?
A Yes, sir.
Q Okay. Was there any discussion within the church about moving money back to Switzerland when the U.S. economy began to fail in 2008 and 2009?
A Not to my knowledge. I know it was used for advertising for the books and stuff.
Q So the money was being used for advertising for the books around that time?
A Yes, sir.
Q So when AIG and Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and there
was the big bailout and the great recession around late 2008 into 2009, did Mr. Weinland say, we should move money back to Switzerland because the economy is failing?
A I never heard him say that, sir.
Q Thank you, sir. You also told Mr. Cline that you were aware that the church purchased — the church said — Mr. Weinland told you that the church was going to purchase some diamonds in preparation for end times; is that accurate?
A I know they bought diamonds. I don’t know if it was announced that they was going to buy them or not, but —
Q How do you know they bought diamonds, sir?
A I guess more hearsay and seeing them, you know.
Q Where did you see the diamonds, sir?
A Mrs. Weinland had them on her finger.
Q Oh, she wore them as jewelry?
A Yes, in case of traveling, if it was needed, she could sell them for the work if she was — if they was stuck over wherever they traveled.
Q So the diamonds that you were aware of were not loose stones, but were actually pieces of jewelry that Mrs. Weinland wore?
A As far as I know, yes. I don’t know of any loose stones.
Q Do you know who paid for those diamonds, sir?
A No, sir.
Q Was it your understanding that the church was buying those
diamonds to be used for the church?
A I don’t know. I can’t say.
Q Okay. And you had testified in response to Mr. Cline’s questioning that you had purchased some diamonds as well; is that correct?
A Yes, sir.
Q Did you purchase these or did the church buy them for you?
A No, sir, I bought them.
Q And did you seek reimbursement from the church for the diamonds?
A No, sir.
Q Why not?
A Because they’re mine. It’s just like I bought one for my 25th anniversary, I bought one for my 50th anniversary, and I bought one when my wife passed away.
MR. NASSON: Thank you, sir.
Nothing further, Your Honor.

MR. CLINE: May I ask one more, Your Honor?
THE COURT: Yes, sir.
Q The diamonds that we were talking about that you saw with Mrs. Weinland —
A Yes, sir.
Q — your understanding is that those were for the use of the church; is that fair?
A What’s that, sir?
Q Your understanding that the diamonds you saw with Mrs. Weinland were for church work, for the use of the church?
A Yes, sir.
MR. CLINE: All right. That’s it, Your Honor. Thank you.Thank you, sir.
THE COURT: Anything else of this witness?
MR. NASSON: No, sir.
THE COURT: Thank you. Mr. Dowd, you may step down, sir.

Testimony of Joyce Garrett

During the criminal trial of False Prophet Ronald Weinland, several PKG members were called by the government to testify.  The first of these was Joyce Garrett, who lives across the street from Ron and put up her home as bond to allow Ron to stay at home to watch Cable TV and disfellowship members who don’t love the Ron god enough to pay tithes.  The lines beginning with “Q” are by US Attorney Robert McBride and “A” by Joyce.

McBride’s Direct Examination of Joyce Garrett:

Q Good afternoon, ma’am. What is your full name, please?
A Joyce Garrett.
Q Where do you live, ma’am?
A You want the full address or just — I live in Boone County, Kentucky.
Q You live in the Triple Crown Subdivision, don’t you?
A I beg your pardon?
Q Triple Crown? Do you live in Triple Crown, ma’am?
A Yes, that’s correct.
Q All right. And do you know Mr. Weinland?
A I do.
Q Would you tell us how you know Mr. Weinland?
A He’s my minister.
{and neighbor}
Q Okay. How did you come to Mr. Weinland’s church?
A Well, it was through a process. I was with the church that had the apostasy and through the process of elimination of listening to other ministers, then I came to Mr. Weinland’s church. I’m sure you don’t want the full story.
Q No, ma’am, I would like the full story, if you could. Tell the ladies and gentlemen what you mean by the apostasy and what church you were referring to?
A Well, I was with what was called the Worldwide Church of God and the apostasy is where our beliefs were totally turned upside down and — which had been told in scriptures what was to happen, and that’s why it’s called the apostasy, it actually comes from the scriptures. {Like many ex-WCG members, Ron’s prophetic interpretation of WCG history resonates} And so once that occurred, then most of us left and the church pretty much scattered into a lot of individual groups. And so it was from there that we had to select, well, where were we going to go in order to listen to the minister that would be adhering to what we considered the truth.
Q Can I ask a couple of follow-up questions. The Worldwide Church, that was the church led by Herbert Armstrong; correct?
A Correct.
Q All right. And at what place were you living when the apostasy occurred?
A In the State of Maryland.
Q All right. And at that time, your husband was still alive; correct?
A Correct.
Q And what was his profession?
A He was a dentist.
Q Okay. All right. And as I understand it, you came to follow Mr. Weinland after the apostasy; correct?
A Not right at first. We went several places and then decided eventually to go with Mr. Weinland.
Q And why did you decide to follow Mr. Weinland?
A Beg your pardon?
Q Why did you decide to follow Mr. Weinland?
A Because he was adhering to the teachings that we had with the original church and was adhering more closely than any of the other ministers.
Q All right. And over time, did you become a member of the Church of God – Preparing for the Kingdom?
A Correct, yes.
Q And how is it that you moved to Northern Kentucky? How did that happen, ma’am?
A Well, my husband died and I remained in Maryland for about two years, and so I knew a lot of people in Cincinnati and elsewhere and then I — it was sort of a process of elimination as to — to determine where I would live. And I chose this particular area because it was centrally located and so that I could go and visit others and in most cases be able to drive there.
Q Were there people you knew here in a congregation?
A Yes. Yes.
Q And how did it come to be that you ended up — You’re essentially a neighbor of Mr. Weinland’s, aren’t you?
A Correct, yes.
Q How did you end up as Mr. Weinland’s neighbor?
A Well, I was — I started out looking for property in Cincinnati and I wanted to — I wanted to have something that — because of my age, I wanted something that would be more of a rancher-type home. And so I was not finding anything suitable right away and so when I was talking with Mr. Weinland at one point and I was describing to him what I was looking for, because I wanted to be near a major highway, I wanted more of a rancher-type home and such, and he said, “Well, that sounds similar to the house that we moved into.” And so he offered that when I would come down to be looking around for property, if I wanted to look at his house, I could. And so I did. But I didn’t make the decision right away, I continued to look some more, and then I realized, well, that particular area, that the house suited me more than anything that I had seen.
Q Now, one of the things that we’re concerned about here today are the operations of the Church of God and I want to ask some questions of you as a member about the church. Okay. Do you belong to a local congregation?
A Yes.
Q Where and when do you meet?
A Well, we meet on Sabbath, Saturday is our Sabbath, and we meet here in Cincinnati.
Q Where specifically in Cincinnati do you meet?
A At the La Quinta hotel.
Q How are the — you meet in a meeting room; correct?
A In a meeting room, yes.
Q How is that meeting room arranged, do you know?
A In terms of payment or — what do you mean, arranged?
Q How is it scheduled and paid for, do you know?
A Well, I’m assume it’s paid for by the church.
MR. CLINE: Your Honor, I apologize. Forgive me for interrupting. I’m going to object for lack of foundation. I believe she said she assumed.
THE WITNESS: I’m sorry, I can’t hear you.
MR. CLINE: I’m sorry, I’ll try to speak a little louder.
THE COURT: All right. I’ll overrule the objection at this point. I believe you were following up, Mr. McBride; is that correct?
MR. MCBRIDE: All right. Thank you, Your Honor.
Q As a member, do you pay for the meeting room?
A No, I don’t, no.
Q And you don’t get any kind of reimbursement for the meeting rooms, do you?
A No. No.
Q You have to drive to the meetings from your home in Union to Cincinnati and back; correct?
A Correct.
Q Do you get any reimbursement for your mileage?
A No.
Q Would you expect any?
A No.
Q Now, I know that you hear sermons from Mr. Weinland at your meetings. How do you receive those sermons?
A It’s over the Internet and sometimes he’s there in person, because he does travel from area to area, so — but when he’s not here, then we hear them over the Internet.
Q All right. Are you aware of other congregations of your church?
A Yes.
Q Where are they located?
A All over. I mean, all over the United States and other countries.
Q There’s some in Europe and some in —
A Yes.
Q Very good.
A Yes.
Q Have you ever traveled to any of those other congregations?
A Only — and not recently, but I’ve gone to — just a couple of times to others here in the United States. And occasionally in the past, when my husband was alive, when it was feast time, and then a couple of times we went to other countries during the feast.
Q Did the church reimburse you for your expenses traveling to and from the feasts?
A No.
Q Would you expect the church to?
A Pardon me?
Q Would you expect the church to?
A No. No.
Q You mentioned holy days and feasts. Generally, are the holy days in the springtime?
A Well, they start in the spring and then it goes into the fall.
Q My understanding, and correct me if I’m wrong, I thought you had some holy days in the spring and then you had the Feast of the Tabernacles in the fall. Is that not accurate?
A Well, the Feast of Tabernacles is also holy days. The holy days start in the spring and they’re like in the summertime and then in the fall.
Q I see. They’re not continuous, but they happen during that period of time?
A Right. They’re individual holy days, yes.
Q Thank you for helping me understand that. Have you ever served as an elder in the church?
A No.
Q Who serves as the elder for your congregation?
A There’s several.
Q Who are they, ma’am?
A Do you want the names?
Q Yes, please.
A Okay. All of them?
Q Yes, please.
A Let’s see, there’s Steve Dalrymple, Tim Brown, Sandy Bays, Bobbie Brown, Lois Domeland. Do you want me to continue?
Q No, that’s fine.
A Okay.
Q So there are several?
A Yes.
Q This may seem obvious to you, but I want to ask you, are there any permanent buildings, like churches or anything of that nature, that the church has?
A No.
Q All right. I would like to ask you about, from my point of two, the income of the church. Do you tithe to the church?
A Yes.
Q All right. Could you explain to the jury the system of tithing used in your church?
A You tithe on your increase, and this would be, say, for example, if you’re a working person and you would tithe on the net, and the tithe is 10 percent, and this is what’s prescribed by scripture. It would mean that after you paid taxes, after all of the deductions, Social Security and whatnot, then whatever your net would be, then you tithe 10 percent on that.
Q How often do you do that, ma’am?
A Well, as often as you get paid. So it would be for the — whatever you would make for the entire year, and if you’re paid weekly — some people will take it out weekly, some will take it out monthly, depending upon how you’re paid.
Q And as I understand it, that’s referred to as first tithe; correct?
A I’m sorry?
Q That’s first tithe?
A That’s first tithe; correct.
Q What is second tithe?
A Second tithe is where you have another 10 percent and you use that for attending holy days. It’s like a savings, but that’s just for your use, that’s not for the church’s use.
Q It’s never sent to the church, is it?
A Pardon me?
Q It’s not sent to the church, it’s kept for yourself?
A Some people will take what they call a tithe of a tithe. If they have — if it’s someone who makes a lot more money than someone else and in order to go to attend the feast they only need a certain amount of money, well, in order to help others who might not have as much, then they may go ahead and offer more of theirs or like what’s called a tithe of a tithe. You take 10 percent of it, that goes in and then it helps others to attend the feasts.
Q Very good. What is third tithe?
A Well, third tithe in our church now is not collected. It was at one time when we were in Worldwide and — but basically what the third tithe is for are for people who are unable to take care of themselves, and so once the — once the welfare system and other groups within the government, once they were formed where people could go to agencies and get the help, well, then the third tithe then was discontinued. Now, still — in some groups it’s still done.
Q Still done, but not in your church?
A Right.
Q Very good. What are the different — what are offerings and what’s the difference between offerings and tithe?
A Well, in the offerings, it’s prescribed in the Bible that when we attend the Holy Days we give a — what’s called a free will offering, and this can be based on whatever you want to give. And what people do is they determine, well, how much they have, they feel that sometimes they’ve been blessed by things they’ve done and they feel then, okay, well, they may give more. But you give it according to what you want, it’s your choice.
{Interesting concept. A prescribed free-will offering.}
Q And as I understand it, people who are unemployed and who are retired don’t have to tithe; is that correct?
A Correct. It’s only on your increase.
Q Thank you. Do you still tithe?
A Yes.
Q Could you tell me, where do you send your tithe?
A To the Post Office box — sometimes I — since I live across the street, sometimes I hand it to someone, but otherwise we have the envelopes that have the Post Office box for the church and you can mail it.
Q That’s a Post Office box in Cincinnati, ma’am?
A Correct.
Q Okay. And when you happen to be in the neighborhood or over near Mr. Weinland’s house, who would you hand your tithe to?
A To Audra Weinland.
Q Why would you hand it to Audra?
A Because it saves me a stamp.
{Joyce.  Joyce.  Joyce.  You should save all of it.}
Q Okay. Fair enough. Does Audra have a role in the church with regards to the tithes that’s you’re aware of?
A I know that she handles some of the bookkeeping. I don’t know specifically what she does, but I know she does some of the books.
Q That’s what I was asking. Thank you. In what form do you give your tithe?
A Check.
Q Always a check?
A Yes, never cash.
Q And do you get any documentation back from the church about your tithe?
A Yes.
Q What do you get?
A It’s a statement that gives the details, it gives the check number and the amount and shows what it’s for. And those come quarterly, and then at the end of the year, it’s all summarized on one statement.
Q All right. Do you check those statements?
A Yes.
Q Why do you check them?
A Because that’s my nature, I check everything.
{Joyce, “everything” includes Ron’s prophetic track record. No, you don’t check everything.}
Q And are they usually accurate?
A Yes.
Q All right. What do you do with them?
A I keep them.
Q All right. Do you use the annual statement for anything?
A If — when the taxes are prepared, I’ll show that as an offering, yes.
Q So that’s a charitable contribution you deduct from your taxes?
A Yes. Yes.
Q Okay. Thank you. Do you know what Mr. Weinland’s salary is?
A No.
Q Do you know if Mrs. Weinland is employed by the church?
A I don’t know as an employee. I know that she’s part of the church, an integral part of the church.
Q She’s clearly part of the spiritual church; correct?
A Pardon me?
Q She’s clearly part of the spiritual church?
A Oh, yes. Definitely, yes.
Q But you don’t know whether she’s a paid employee, do you?
A I do not know that, no.
Q Are you aware that Mr. Weinland put some church money in a Swiss account?
A Yes.
Q What did you — did you attend a sermon in which you heard that?
A Yes.
Q What did Mr. Weinland say about it?
A That — during that time, there was a lot of talk in the news and all around that the dollar was going to be in trouble and he made statements concerning that, because it was at a time that — I can’t remember if that’s during the time that the books were being done or they were talking about doing the books. But there was concern that if the dollar did go down dramatically, if there were any problems that way, by putting some money in that account, then that would kind of safeguard things and so the church could still operate.
Q Do you know how much money he put in those accounts?
A No.
Q Do you know what bank the accounts were in?
A No.
Q Do you know whose name was on the accounts?
A No.
Q Do you know how many deposits were made into those accounts?
A No.
Q When you were with Worldwide Church, did they provide financial statements of the entire church?
A That was — not to my knowledge. But I did hear just a day or so ago, though —
MR. CLINE: I apologize, ma’am. I object, Your Honor.
THE COURT: All right. I’ll sustain the objection based on hearsay.
MR. MCBRIDE: Thank you, Your Honor.
Q So you never saw a financial statement from Worldwide Church?
A I did not. A statement was made just the other day, so I’m just saying —
MR. CLINE: I apologize again.
THE COURT: All right. You can’t discuss matters that you may have talked about with someone else.
THE WITNESS: Okay. Well, then I would have to say no, that I didn’t personally see it.
MR. MCBRIDE: Thank you.
Q I didn’t mean to get you in trouble, sorry.
A Pardon me?
Q I didn’t mean to get you in trouble, I’m sorry.
A No, that’s okay.
Q Have you ever seen a financial statement from Church of God?
A No.
MR. MCBRIDE: Your Honor, those are all the questions I have at this time.
THE COURT: All right. Thank you. Will there be any cross-examination of the witness?
MR. CLINE: No, Your Honor. Given the hour, we’re at the end of the day, and I hate to keep her overnight. No cross-examination.
THE COURT: All right. Very well. Any objection to the witness being finally excused?
MR. MCBRIDE: No, Your Honor.
THE COURT: All right. Thank you. Ms. Garrett, you’re finally excused. Do you have any documents up there that you were given? I don’t think that you did receive any. You can step down at this time, you’re excused. Thank you, ma’am.

Black Hearted Ron and the Four Buckets

After the government presented its opening statement, it was the turn for the defense.  Robert Webb, Ron’s attorney took the stage.

—–Transcript of Robert Webb’s Opening Statement in Defense of Ronald Weinland ————–

MR. WEBB: May it please this Court. Mr. McBride.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, much of what Mr. McBride has told you is not in dispute. We don’t disagree that purchases were made. We don’t disagree that Mr. Weinland engaged in transactions. But the key question, the only issue in this case is whether Mr. Weinland had criminal intent. Did he have a black heart and a dark mind when he engaged in these transactions? That’s the only issue in this case.

{Did Ronald Weinland have a black heart when he exercised his Witness Powers twice to issue death curses on his mockers?}

Now, you may conclude, ladies and gentlemen, that Mr. Weinland made some mistakes. You may conclude that he should have paid more attention to church finances than he did. You may even conclude that he owes additional taxes. But even if he owes additional taxes, the proof will show that he never deliberately tried to cheat the IRS or anyone else out of their taxes. And that’s the key, because this is a criminal case. A criminal case, not a civil case. The civil case to determine whether or not Mr. Weinland owes additional taxes, that will come later. That will come in a separate proceeding. This is not an audit where the IRS has come in with a calculator and a pencil and a pad and said let’s calculate how much you owe.

That’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about a criminal investigation where the government is trying to brand Mr. Weinland a criminal, a felon, and trying to punish him as a criminal. That’s what we’re talking about. So they have to prove that Mr. Weinland had a black heart and an evil mind beyond a reasonable doubt. And the evidence will show you that Mr. Weinland did not have an evil mind and did not have a black heart.

{In the end, the jury disagreed.  So Ron does have an evil mind and a black heart in the opinion of 12 jurors who heard all the evidence.}

Now, who is Ron Weinland? Because in order to evaluate Mr. Weinland’s state of mind and what he was thinking, which is the key part of the case, you have to know a little bit about him. So let’s talk a little bit about him. Mr. Weinland has spent his entire adult life in the church, into religion, trying to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s what Mr. Weinland has devoted his adult life to do.

He was born in 1949 on a farm in Kansas where he grew up. {Actually, Ron was born in Colorado. But did grow up on a farm in western Kansas.} He attended Ambassador College where he obtained a degree in theology, studying the gospel of Jesus Christ. He met his wife Laura Weinland. And Laura Weinland has been a devoted wife to Mr. Weinland throughout his life; his partner.

When Mr. Weinland was 20 years old, he was baptized into the Worldwide Church of God. Now, that’s different than the Church of God – PKG that the prosecutor was referring to. The evidence will show you that the Worldwide Church of God was a worldwide church highly respected {highly respected — really?} that was — that Mr. Weinland worked for as a full-time pastor for 12 years. From 1982 to 1994, Mr. Weinland was a full-time pastor for the Worldwide Church of God. And you know what? He was happy there. He was happy being a pastor for the Worldwide Church of God. He didn’t want to leave the Worldwide Church of God and start his own church. That’s not what happened.

The evidence will show that in 1994 Worldwide Church of God broke apart. It scattered. New leadership came in and changed the doctrines of the church. And the people who truly believed in the original doctrines couldn’t stay in the church, they had to leave. So it broke apart. Mr. Weinland was one of those people who believed in the original Worldwide Church of God beliefs, and the evidence will show that when he started the Church of God – PKG he carried on the original beliefs of the Worldwide Church of God. He followed in their beliefs.

The church grew — the Church of God – PKG grew beyond Mr. Weinland’s prediction from 2003 to 2008. And the prosecutor put a map up that showed you how many church members and how many congregations were worldwide, the Netherlands, Portland, Oregon, all over the United States. The church grew very, very quickly. It grew from just a single congregation or two from Cincinnati — that was in Toledo and Cincinnati to a worldwide church.

And Ron Weinland and Laura Weinland lived every day of their life for the church. {Were they living for the church the 12 days they were on their Total Resolve Cruise?} They lived for the church and that’s borne out by how the church grew. The church didn’t grow worldwide by Mr. Weinland living an affluent lifestyle sitting idly by.  {Ron lives an affluent lifestyle, watching lots of Cable TV and taking vacations.} He was working for the church, spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ with his wife, with his kids. That’s what the evidence will show about Ron Weinland.

Now, in voir dire today I asked some questions about beliefs, and this case is not about religious beliefs. And whether you agree with Mr. Weinland’s religious beliefs is not really relevant, but you have to understand what Mr. Weinland’s religious beliefs were to understand what happened here. You have to understand what Mr. Weinland’s beliefs were and what the Church of God – PKG’s beliefs were to put these things in  context, and that’s what we’re going to talk about. The Church of God – PKG — Preparing for the Kingdom of God, that’s what PKG means, the Church of God – Preparing for the Kingdom of God. Preparing for the return or Jesus Christ, that’s what it means. They believe that we are living in an end time, in the last days, that Jesus Christ will return, and before he returns there will be a financial crisis, an upheaval the likes of which the world has never seen. And then Jesus Christ will return and there will be a new world that will be created.

That is their beliefs. And that’s important to keep in mind as we talk through this case, because they believed that when this financial crisis occurred — and we’re talking about the period between 2004 and 2008, they believed that U.S. banks would fail. They believed that the financial system would collapse. They believed that the American dollar would lose its value during this upheaval, in this financial upheaval. That’s what the evidence will show. And that’s a little bit about Ron Weinland’s and the Church of God – Preparing for the Kingdom of God’s beliefs.

So now let’s talk about the charges and I think you’ll see how they connect up to the beliefs. There’s really four buckets of issues. I like to look at this case in four buckets.

The first bucket is assets held for the church, things of value that Mr. Weinland possessed for the benefit of the church.

The second bucket is the reimbursement of expanses. The prosecutor named some of those expenses and we’re going to talk about it.

The third is the house and the down payment that the government will talk about, about whether or not there was an income to Mr. Weinland from a down payment.

And the third — or the fourth, rather, are expenses that the church paid for people who worked in the church, who provided valuable services to the church.

Those are really the four buckets that the proof will show you can put most of this in. Let’s talk about the first  one, assets held for the church.

Now, you may be sitting there asking yourself why would Ron Weinland go to Switzerland and open a Swiss bank account? Why would he transfer money from the United States bank to a Swiss bank? And the answer, the proof will show, is very simple. When you believe that you’re living in the end time, that the U.S. economy and the banks will fail, diversifying assets of the church is being a good steward. But he didn’t just transfer U.S. dollars to the Swiss bank, he actually converted the U.S. dollars into European dollars. Now, that’s important, because the proof will show if the U.S. dollars had gone down in value, the European dollars would have remained and they would have been there to service all of the foreign churches that the prosecutor pointed out to you. Mr. Weinland has a worldwide church, he had to think not only about the United States congregations, he had to think about the European congregations, just as that map reflected.

And the evidence will show, ladies and gentlemen, that Mr. Weinland did not move this money to Switzerland under the cover of darkness. He didn’t do it at night when no one was looking. The evidence will show he did it in broad daylight and he told the members of his congregation that he was going to move money to Switzerland before he moved it. That’s what the evidence will show.

And as the prosecutor pointed out, when Mr. Weinland gives a sermon, particularly I’m focusing on the sermon he gave where he told the members he was moving money to Switzerland, it went to all the members worldwide.  {All members worldwide?  Really?  There was no cassette tape sent out for that sermon as was normal.  The recording put on his website in 2010 was recorded at the other end of a telephone hookup.} So everyone who was listening to Mr. Weinland’s sermon, every member anywhere in the world, was told about it. It wasn’t concealed or hidden. And that money, as it sat there in that account, was for the benefit, the evidence will show you, ladies and gentlemen, was for the benefit of the church. And that’s not income to Mr. Weinland, that’s a church asset, it’s church money.

Now, the prosecutor mentioned some diamonds and precious stones, and there are some diamonds and precious stones purchased here. {But these were not loose diamonds.  Rather this was bling in custom settings for the Silent Witness’ fingers.}But what will happen in the end times, the Church of God – PKG and Ron Weinland believes, is that when the currency becomes valueless, the only way to travel, the only way to get food, the only way to get to your members will be barter. And what’s the best thing to barter? It’s diamonds and gold. And the Weinlands carried this with them when they were traveling far abroad, because they believed, the evidence will show, that time was going to end, that Jesus Christ was returning and this financial upheaval was coming.

And also, when you’re hearing the proof on these diamonds, bear in mind that Mr. Weinland did have an after-tax salary, and ask yourself if the government has proven that some of these diamonds weren’t purchased with his after-tax salary.It’s something we need to watch for.  {So were they assets for the church or not? Did Ron declare enough taxable income to pay for the diamonds and his other expenses? }

Let’s move on to the second bucket, expense reimbursements. This is principally the credit card expenses that the prosecutor talked about where Mr. Weinland would make charges on his personal credit cards and he would be reimbursed by the church. It’s not easy to get a limit on a church credit card. That is one of the reasons, the proof will show, that Mr. Weinland had credit cards in his individual name, it was simply a lot easier to get credit limits than when you ask for a church, apply for a church.

Now, some of the examples on these credit card charges, one big example, I think it’s over a hundred thousand dollars, is Laura Weinland’s airfare and travel. {And travel for Ron’s children and their spouses.} One IRS agent has decided that they’re going to tell the Church of God – PKG who can travel for the church and who can’t. And they’ve decided, the IRS had decided, that Laura Weinland should not be deemed appropriate to represent the Church of God – PKG as a team with her husband.

The evidence will show you that when Mr. Weinland was at the Worldwide Church of God he was taught to travel as a team. He was taught spiritually that the beliefs of the family were important, that the husband and wife were a team. That’s what he learned, that’s what he was taught, that’s what he did. He didn’t believe that that was income to him. And the evidence will show that Laura Weinland was a very strong participant out there among the members in the congregation, counseling with members, saving marriages. That’s what the evidence will show.

But let’s talk about these credit card expenses. Up to 2004, Mr. Weinland actually tracked the personal expenses. The evidence will show that he tracked what was personal. But when you look at the explosive growth of the church, and you remember the map that the prosecutor put up there where the church was all over the world, Mr. Weinland had written books for the church, he wrote these books and he gave away hundreds of thousands of these books free, {PKG members gave their life savings to send the books out free} spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ all around the world. And he didn’t charge the church for writing these books, he donated his time to write these books. {Donated his time?  He was paid a salary.  Members donated their time to edit his books and to send them out.}

He was speaking publicly representing the church to news channels, news stations, television stations, anyone that would listen. {Ron was never on the news.  The only television exposure was an Australian TV magazine-format program where he didn’t come out too well.  His only real media exposure on local talk radio programs. Well, his criminal trial did get some exposure.} Mr. Weinland would go out representing the church. And he was very busy building the Church of God – PKG into the worldwide organization that it is today.

Now, should he have paid closer attention to the finances of the church? You may find that, but that doesn’t make him a criminal. And the evidence will show that from 2004 through 2008, almost all of the period of time we’re talking about, Laura Weinland, his wife, tracked the expenses.

Now, why did she do that? Why did Laura Weinland track the church versus personal expenses? Because Ronald Weinland did what most married couples would do, he asked his wife for assistance, and she provided it. And Ron Weinland relied on her to do that. And the evidence will show that she had a system. It may not have been a perfect system, she doesn’t have any formal training, she’s not a tax CPA, she’s a loyal, devoted wife.

You’ll also see that the IRS agrees that a lot of the money that was transferred from the Church of God’s account for these credit card expenses was for legitimate church expenses. You’re going to see a lot of that, a lot of church expenses. Now, some of these totals that the IRS is going to put up on these charts are going to look very large to you, but the evidence will show that this is a five-year total. So you have to look at it on a year-by-year basis – that’s what a tax case is – to understand what Mr. Weinland was thinking, on a year-by- year-by-year basis. So the numbers look larger than they actually — than Mr. Weinland experienced on a year-by-year basis.

Now, the IRS agent made some mistakes in this case, you’re going to hear that, the proof will show. Laura Weinland made some mistakes in this case. But Ron Weinland relying on Laura Weinland, even if she made mistakes, the evidence will show you is not a crime. In a civil case, that may well be enough, but not in a criminal case.

Now, let’s talk about the house. The government will allege that a portion of the house down payment was income to Ron Weinland, because the Church of God – PKG paid a portion of that down payment. The Church of God – PKG, they don’t have a church building with a steeple, stained glass windows, and a nice organ where people come in every Sunday. They don’t have that traditional style church building where you can have a church office, where you can have elder’s meetings, where you can have ministers in. They just don’t have that.

And Mr. Weinland, when he moved here to Kentucky, he had to make a decision. Do I go out and buy a building for the church, do I try to find commercial space to rent for the church, or do I run the church office and the book processing center, which you’ll hear about, out of the basement of my church — out of the basement of my home? And I believe the evidence will show that Mr. Weinland was being a good steward of church money when he decided that he would use the basement not only for the church office {and more recently to hold church services}, but you’re going to hear testimony that hundreds of thousands of books that Mr. Weinland wrote for the church were given away free, spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ all over the world and that they had to be packaged, they had to be labeled, they had to be prepared to be mailed, and that basement was a perfect place for that processing. Now, you’re going to hear that — the evidence will show that the book processing became so large that they had to move it out to a specific employee that does it now.  {If the basement was so perfect for book processing, then why did they move the operation out?} That’s how involved the processing of these books would be.

Let’s talk about the last bucket, the expenses that were paid for church workers. It’s very simple. The evidence will show that Ron Weinland believed that it was perfectly appropriate for the Church of God – PKG to pay health insurance, medical bills, provide an automobile for people who worked for the church {Actually 3 automobiles, BMWs.  And not just anybody who worked for the church.  For Ron Weinland, Audra Weinland, and Jeremy Weinland}, and he believed, the evidence will show, that the tax law allowed it.

Now, where did he learn that? Where did he get that idea? Well, there’s only one place. The evidence will show that what he learned about taxes he learned while he was a pastor at the Worldwide Church of God. That’s what the evidence will show. That’s the knowledge that was what was in Mr. Weinland’s head when we started the Church of God – PKG.  And most of the issues that we’ll be talking about this week fall in one of those buckets.

Now, let’s talk about Mr. Weinland’s children, because the evidence will show that this was a family ministry. You have Mr. Weinland preaching, traveling. You have Mrs. Weinland traveling with him, supporting him, tracking the expenses the best she can, and Audra Weinland started out processing books and trying to prepare them for mailing and eventually became the bookkeeper. You have to bear in mind factually that Audra Weinland, I believe, only started in January of ’07 actually being the bookkeeper for the church. So from ’04, ’05, ’06 Ms. Weinland — I mean Audra Weinland I don’t believe was actually working as the bookkeeper.

Now, let’s talk about Jeremy Weinland, Mr. Weinland’s son. He has a knack for computers. He has a knack for building websites and maintaining websites. And you heard the prosecutor say how effectively that the Church of God – PKG used the Internet. And I would submit they were effective. They were effective because of Jeremy Weinland, who designed the websites, who helped keep the websites up. {So Jeremy put up a WordPress template, rather inefficiently actually.  As someone who blogs with one, I say “Big deal!!”} And the evidence will show that Mr. — that Jeremy Weinland helped translate books into foreign languages so they could spread the word of Jesus Christ in other languages.

So Jeremy Weinland and Audra Weinland, were they provided things by the church? The evidence will show yes. Did they provide valuable services back to the church? The evidence will show yes.

Now, Ron Weinland learned what he learned about managing the Church of God – PKG from working at the Worldwide Church of God. He learned about tuition assistance programs, you’re going to hear some about how tuition was paid. You’ll hear evidence, the evidence will show that some tuition was paid. {Yes, the church did pay tuition assistance — for Jeremy Weinland.} But if Mr. Weinland learned it wrong at the Worldwide Church of God, that doesn’t make him a criminal.

Now, let’s go back to 2008. Mr. Weinland and his wife, Laura, were living every day of their life for the church, growing this church into a worldwide ministry. And then in 2008, there’s a knock on the door. It’s the IRS. But it’s not the IRS who has the accountant notepad and the calculator and the ink pens, it’s not an auditor who’s come to help see if you owe additional taxes. No, these are criminal agents. They have badges, they have guns. They’re there to brand Mr. Weinland a felon and punish him as a criminal.

And what did Mr. Weinland do when they showed up? Did he send them on down the road, get off my property? No, he didn’t. He invited them into his home, invited them into his home and answered their questions. And you know what he told them? He told them about the Swiss bank account. Guess where the IRS learned about the Swiss bank account? I believe the evidence will show that Mr. Weinland told them about it. He had already — the evidence will show he had already told his entire worldwide congregation in a sermon, he certainly wasn’t hiding it from the IRS. He answered their questions.  {But just weeks later, he took legal action attempting to suppress summonses the IRS issued to get information on his financial transactions. And later to resist the IRS summons for Audra to testify.  Also, he refused to provide church records.}

Now, let’s talk about the 2008 tax return that was filed late. When Mr. Weinland realized that people with badges and guns from the IRS were after him, he hired a lawyer, and the lawyer told him and the proof will show, now, Ron, don’t file that tax return until you do some more accounting. You need to do some more accounting, you need to try to get it right. And that’s what he did, he tried to do some more accounting. The evidence will show that when you’re dealing with church expenses and trying to figure out what’s income, it’s not cut and tried. The evidence will show that.

So Mr. Weinland was told by his lawyer not to file his 2008 return until he did some more accounting, and he didn’t. He followed the lawyer’s advice. But he didn’t thumb his nose at the IRS, he made sure that I think around $25,000 had been paid into the IRS as a buffer to try to make sure that money was there to cover whatever ended up being due and owing. It was a good-faith payment, it was a  good-faith act, he was relying in good faith on his lawyer. That’s what the evidence will show.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, the government is going to spend a lot of time this week trying to demonstrate that Mr. Weinland owes taxes. And you may conclude that he does owe additional taxes. But this case is about one thing: Did Mr. Weinland have criminal intent, a black heart, and a dark mind when he engaged in these transactions? This is not the civil case, that will come later. And the issue is, I suspect that you’ll hear from the Court, is has the government proven Mr. Weinland guilty of an intentional violation of a known legal duty, did he do it on purpose. Was it deliberate. That is going to be the question. And I believe that the evidence will show that Mr. Weinland never intended to cheat anybody, especially the IRS.

And when we close our case, we’re going to ask you to return a verdict of not guilty for Mr. Weinland and set him free to continue doing his very important work. Thank you.