Note: I have now sorted through about two days of testimony on Weinland’s profligate spending, and have posts scheduled for the next several days to discuss it.
Trial transcripts are available on the Criminal Case page linked in the banner at the top. Audra’s testimony is included in several parts: Part 1 , Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.
During Audra Little’s lengthy testimony, False Prophet Ronald Weinland’s credit card charges were gone over. This was necessary because Weinland commingled church and personal expenses.
In this exchange with the prosecutor, Audra reviewed her bookkeeping skillz:
Q Would you agree with me that the money for the church and your parents is mixed up together?
Q And that creates kind of a confusing circumstance for you, doesn’t it, for the bookkeeper?
A We have — we do it a little different now, it’s a little different.
Q I’m not talking about now, I’m talking about 2004 to 2008, for you 2007 to 2008.
A It’s not confusing for me, because I just pay it off.
Q Right. So you don’t have to worry about what’s a church expense —
Q — what’s a business expense?
Q And you just pay it off with church money?
Q Because the only source of money your parents have, to your knowledge, is church money; right?
A Are you talking about my dad’s paycheck or —
The testimony discussed six different credit card accounts, two of which were with American Express each of which had two cards. The AmEx monthly statement includes both cards (one for Ron and the other for Laura) with charges for each listed separately.
Most of the charges discussed during the testimony were in the October 2007 through May of 2008 time frame. Let’s first review Ron’s activities during that period:
- 2007, October 4 (Last Great Day): In his “Total Resolve” sermon, Weinland announces stepped up activity to prepare for his prophetic timeline including spending more money on Google Adwords to promote his books. He announces that there would no organized Feast of Tabernacles in 2008. Instead members were to send in second tithe on a weekly basis to fund the Internet advertising campaign.
- 2007, October 7-20: On their third trip crossing the Atlantic during 2007, Ron and Laura show their Total Resolve after the Feast of Tabernacles by going on a 12-day Mediterranean cruise vacation originating in Istanbul, including stops in Greece and Italy, and ending in Barcelona.
- 2007, October 27: Weinland directs members to keep only 1/4 of second tithe for expenses to attend the holy days, and to send the remainder to him weekly in order to finance his Google ad campaign. He claims to be refinancing his home to extract his equity to donate to the church. This is done as a suggestion that his members do the same to show their Total Resolve.
- 2007, November 3: Weinland discusses refinancing the equity in his house to give to the church. He suggests waiting until 2008 to perform transactions that would have tax implications, stating it wouldn’t matter then.
- 2007, December 29: Weinland promises that he would not change his prophecies if they fail, mocking those who did — “it’s about the paycheck.”
- 2008, January: Weinland travels to New Zealand and Australia. While there, he is filmed for a TV program which aired the following November on the Australian ABC network.
- 2008, Feb 2: Weinland announces that some COG-PKG members are “sealed” as part of the 144,000 to be resurrected at Christ’s return.
- 2008, February/March: Weinland travels to Europe, accompanied by elders from the US.
- 2008, Mar 18: Opening of the Seventh seal in the first timeline. In his sermon of Mar 22nd, Weinland claims that he never said anything would happen on that day despite the following statement in “2008 – God’s Final Witness”: “the world will be shocked and in horror on the day that the Seventh Seal is opened.”
- 2008, Mar 29: In his “Three More Weeks” sermon, Weinland issues his “if by Pentecost…” declaration, in which he promised to stop preaching by Pentecost if evidence of the First Trumpet (destruction of vegetation and animals) not abundantly clear by then, and also to admit he’s a false prophet if the Second Trumpet (the great loss of human life, “nukular” explosions in US port cities) does not occur by the end of July. (MP3 Audio Clip)
- 2008, Apr 17: Blowing of the First Trumpet under the first timeline. Weinland supposedly “begins his job” as an End-Time Witness while traveling in Jerusalem together with his wife and Johnny and Myrtle Harrell. Weinland posts to his blog announcing his wife Laura as second witness.
- 2008, Apr 19: Weinland records his “Has Begun” sermon while in Jerusalem. In this sermon Weinland performs the only exercise of his Witness powers by issuing a death curse against his mockers who are to die slowly from the inside.
- 2008 May 3: Weinland offers to return extra donations above normal tithes and offerings, provided it’s asked for before Pentecost. (According to him no one did.)
- 2008, May 24: Weinland announces son Jeremy’s marriage (to Patricia Palacios of Spain) and move to Germany following a honeymoon to Cancun.
- 2008, June 8 (Pentecost): Weinland continues to preach despite the lack of evidence of the First Trumpet. By doing so, he defined himself as an Insane Liar according his “If by Pentecost” declaration of March 29.
- 2008, June 21: Weinland announces the failures of his prophecies, but claims that he is still a prophet. As a teaser he announces that a 50th Truth to be announced on the Feast of Trumpets (Sept 30). Members are to start saving all of second tithe (instead of sending 3/4 of it to Weinland) in order to attend an abbreviated Feast of Tabernacles (4 days only) later in the fall. That same day a speculated revised timeline circulates the anti-Weinland blog-o-sphere which was later verified to be correct.
There is a disadvantage when reading the transcript of the testimony as the dollar amounts of many of the charges are not mentioned. In the courtroom is a projector system of sorts with a display monitor provided to each member of the jury. Nevertheless, the pattern of charges was interesting once sorted out from the transcript.
Most of the credit card charges were for the intense Google advertising campaign that Ron was conducting during that time. Google billed his card on a daily basis, with charges as high as $2094 mentioned in the testimony. Here are some of Ron and Laura’s non-Google credit card charges during this period:
• In Dallas, TX at Santa Fe Collect.
• Women’s Ready-to-Wear
• Hotel, Avis Rent-a-Car, and fuel charges
• Wingate Marriott Gift Shop
• Avis car rental charges in Corpus Christi, TX which is where Laura’s mother lives.
Another credit card, Delta AmEx:
• An over-the-limit fee for the period ending 11/16/2007 as the card had a credit limit of $50,000, there were charges that month $51,633.80.
• There was a charge for the Norwegian Jewel in Miami, Florida. There was some discussion that it might be for jewelry. However Norwegian Jewel is the name of one of the ships on the Norwegian Cruise lines. Also the name of the ship I determined 3 years ago was probably the ship on which Ron and Laura took their 12-day Mediterranean Total Resolve cruise following the 2007 Total Resolve feast.
• Multiple charges at the First Watch restaurant in Crestview Hills, KY near Weinland’s home.
• Multiple charges at Starbucks in Crestview Hills and Florence, KY and in Cincinnati
• Multiple charges at Panera Bread in Florence, KY and Hamilton, OH
• Airline travel to Phoenix, AZ for Ron and Laura
• Airline travel to Dallas, TX for Ron and Laura. Also for Audra.
• Airline travel to Orlando, FL.
• Travel expenses to the Detroit MI area: Fuel
• Bon Vie Somerset French restaurant in Troy, MI.
There were also charges for the Hyatt Hotel in Hawaii, arrival on Dec 30, 2007 and departure on Jan 1, 2008. These were Sunday and Monday nights on a layover on the trip to New Zealand and Australia that Ron and Laura went on in January of 2008.
• Stay at the Holiday Inn in Wellington, NZ
• Airline travel in Australia on Virgin Blue Fortitude and JetStar.
• Airline flight for Ron and Laura to Las Vegas, NV
Charges for the Las Vegas Venetian hotel, with arrival on Jan 21 and departure on Jan 23 of 2008. This would have been on Ron and Laura’s return from the trip to New Zealand and Australia. The prosecutor asked if this was for an elders conference. While Weinland has held several elders conferences there, there was not one during January of 2008 that I’m aware of. These dates were on Monday and Tuesday nights as opposed to weekend dates. There had been an elders conference in the summer of 2007, and another held later on March 29, 2008, which is also when Ron issued his “If by Pentecost” declaration that he weaseled out of.
• Airline tickets for Ron and Laura to Honolulu
• In Illinois, at the Panera Bread in Decatur.
• Macaroni Grill in Florence.
• At Walmart in Florence
• Multiple charges at Kroger’s in Union for gas and groceries.
• J Alexanders restaurant near their home.
• Eye 1 and a separate doctor’s charge for optometry.
Laura’s charges on the same account:
• Bed, Bath, & Beyond in Crestview Hills
• Kroger’s in Florence and Union for gas and groceries
• $406.30 at Michael’s arts & craft store in Florence.
• Lowe’s hardware store in Florence
• Panera Bread in Hamilton, OH
• A SteamMop catalog purchase.
• Jared Galleria jewelry store in Crestview Hills
• $396.65 at Staples
• $2141.28 at LensCrafters
On another statement
• Palomino in Indianapolis
• Nordstrom’s in Indianapolis
• Johnston & Murphy shoe store in Indianapolis
• Country Inn & Suites in Champagn, IL
• Starbucks in Brownville, multiple charges
• Brio’s Italian restaurant in Newport
• A $96 massage at TouchArtist in Grapevine, Texas
• In Orlando, FL: Charges at California Pizza, Johnny Rockets, and Nordstroms
• Round trip airline tickets for Ron and Laura to Brussels and London for trip they took in March of 2008
• Qantas Airlines
• Continental Airlines to Hartford, CT from Ottawa
• Another ticket for Audra to go to Hartford
• Total charges by Ron on one statement of $112,288.04 including mostly Google charges
Audra’s memory was hazy on dates. She couldn’t remember which years the books were written. Here is an example:
Q Has your father ever traveled to Israel?
Q When did he travel to Israel?
A I don’t remember.
Q Was it ’08?
Another Weinland credit card bill was exhibited and charges discussed. This bill was paid on 5/18/08 according to a note written on the statement. Here were some of the other charges mentioned:
• Charges to Walgreen’s in Florence, KY which is near where Ron and Laura lives and also where Audra lives
• Charges to Kroger’s near their home.
• Charges to Panera Bread
• Pro Hosting KU of Midway. Perhaps this was a hosting service for some of Ron’s web sites.
• GPS4Rent, Limited. Ron may have rented a GPS on his trip to Israel in April of 2008.
• The Royal Hotel in Israel, and also the Hyatt in Jerusalem
• HotLink in Jerusalem, perhaps this is the company Ron used to connect to the Internet to make the posting on his blog announcing Laura as the second Witness. Or maybe it was Netbooth Internet in Jerusalem.
• Kafe Rimon Restaurant in Jerusalem.
• Ramshot (ph) Travel Agency in Tel Aviv.
• Drury Inn in Dayton, OH. Also Avis rental charges in Dayton. Wonder why Ron needed to stay there and rent a car, as it’s only about 60 miles from his $381,000 home.
• Charges in Auburn Hills, at the Hilton, at Speedway for fuel, and at Great Lakes which is the name of a mall in Auburn Hills.
• Airline charges of $559.37 for Jeremy’s wife Patricia to fly from Frankfurt to Cincinnati on May 22nd.
• A round trip ticket for Ron’s mother Ramona to fly on May 21st to attend Jeremy’s wedding on May 23, 2008. Audra didn’t remember Grandma being at Jeremy’s wedding.
• Airline charges for a round trip flight for Jeremy and Patricia departing from Cincinnati on May 26th to Cancun for their honeymoon.
• A ticket for Jeremy to fly to Germany on June 5th.
• Millennium Systems of Irvine, CA which does web design. Hmmm. I thought Jeremy did that.
• Brio’s in Newport
• Pro Hosting in Utah.
• Videotext.com, of Austin, Texas. They sell computer-based instruction for home schoolers.
• Tickets for Ron and Laura to fly to St. Louis, probably for their trip to Columbia, MO in May.
• A round trip ticket for Laura to Las Vegas.
From another credit card statement
• Charges for Emergency Systems of Florence for the alarm system.
• Merle Norman in Crestview Hills, KY near their home to replace Laura’s makeup ruined while on her trip to Israel.
• Abuelo’s in Crestview Hills, a Mexican restaurant
• Mobile Storage Group Equipment Rental, which may have been where Ron’s books were stored when the operation got too large to fit in the basement of his $381,000 home.
Another credit card, with statement closing date of April 23, 2008
• Multimedia Pros, which is the company that hosts the live Internet audio feeds for Ron’s sermons.
Another statement for charges during May of 2008 (included a payment made on May 7 for the prior month’s statement).
• Postrio in Las Vegas
• Monami Gabi restaurant in Las Vegas
• Tommy Bahama in Las Vegas
• Bellagio Giardini
• Grand Lux Café in Las Vegas
• AMC in Ontario
Weinland did not hold an elders conference in Las Vegas at that time, his March 29 elders conference was in Cincinnati.
Also reviewed was a credit card statement from 2004 which showed charges consistent with Weinland’s travels to visit congregations.
During examination of Audra about charges on Laura’s credit card was this exchange:
Q Lowe’s in Florence. Have you been to Lowe’s?
Q What does Lowe’s sell?
A Like home — I don’t know, all kinds of things, appliances.
Q Giant hardware store, isn’t it?
Q The church isn’t building any projects, is it? They’re not —
A Not that I know of.
Q — building homes for the poor or anything?
While none of these charges are illegal individually, how is it that a humble Witness is able to patronize these upscale establishments on a gross salary of $5900/month and even $8750/month after paying the expenses for a $381,000 home? Something didn’t fit in, and it was paying to Caesar that which was his.
In tomorrow’s posting, the remainder of Audra’s testimony is summarized.