Six months after Anthony and Harriet Jinwright were convicted on charges related to tax evasion, the church they once led has landed in foreclosure proceedings.
According to a legal notice posted Nov. 5 in the Charlotte Observer, three Greater Salem Church properties are scheduled for public auction on Friday, November 12, at the Mecklenburg Courthouse.
The notice indicated that the church had defaulted on a mortgage taken out in 2008.
Efforts to reach church officials were not immediately successful.
The properties listed for auction are:
- The main church at 5318 Salem Church Road in Charlotte. Tax records show that the 23,162-square-foot building sits on 2.95 acres and has an assessed value of $1.5 million.
- A second church location at 17609 Old Statesville Road in Cornelius. Tax records for this location were unavailable.
- Vacant land on the north side of Rozells Ferry Road in Charlotte.
Qcitymetro could not immediately determine how much is owed on the properties.
The Jinwrights were indicted on charges that they failed to report more than $1.8 million in income on their federal tax returns between 2001 and 2007. That number eventually was increased to $2.3 million. During those same years, prosecutors alleged, the couple received more than $5 million in compensation from the west Charlotte church. Prosecutors estimated that the Jinwrights owed the federal government nearly $700,000.
Witnesses in the four-week trial testified that the Jinwrights routinely collected “love offerings” from Greater Salem then took the money home in bags. Others testified that the couple used church money to lease luxury cars, pay for vacations, and to pay their daughter’s college tuition. Much of that money went unreported on federal tax returns, the government said.
Anthony Jinwright was convicted in May on 13 counts of conspiracy and tax evasion. He faces up to 53 years in prison and has been held in the Mecklenburg jail while he awaits sentencing.
Harriet Jinwright was convicted on four counts – one for conspiracy and three for tax evasion. She was allowed to remain free pending sentencing and faces up to 20 years in prison.
U.S. District Judge Frank Whitney has set Dec. 8 as the date he will sentence the husband-wife team.