Bank of America has foreclosed on a Pineville building that once housed A.L. Jinwright Funeral Service II Inc., one of two mortuary companies owned by Bishop Anthony Jinwright and his wife, Harriet.
The Jinwrights, co-pastors of Greater Salem Church in west Charlotte, were convicted in May on multiple counts related to tax evasion and were sentenced to federal prison earlier this month.
The bank began its foreclosure process in late August, records at the county courthouse show. Then on Nov. 18. at a public auction, BofA purchased the building with a high bid of $650,000.
A check of records at the Mecklenburg courthouse showed the Jinwrights facing a number of civil actions, including tax and business liens. For example:
- The Batesville Casket Co. in Batesville, Ind., filed suit Nov. 5. alleging that the Jinwright’s other company, A.L. Jinwright Funeral Service, owed $54,771.64 for caskets.
- BMW Financial Services filed a lawsuit demanding that the Jinwrights and A.L. Jinwright Funeral Service return a 2007 Rolls-Royce Phantom, valued at $205,800, because of nonpayment. The company later dropped the claim without explanation.
- And when the city of Charlotte agreed to pay the Jinwrights more than $53,000 to compensate for land seized from A.L. Jinwright Funeral Service during a widening of Statesville Avenue, payouts were made not to the Jinwrights but to the U.S. Small Business Administration and to Wells Fargo Bank as partial payments for outstanding loans.
During the couple’s four-week trial, Anthony Jinwright testified that everything they owned — house, cars, even his funeral home business – had been put up for sale. And he talked wistfully about his “lifelong dream” of owning a funeral home.
Jinwright said he first worked in a mortuary as a student in high school, then later as a $200-a-week pastor at Greater Salem Baptist Church, which he renamed Greater Salem City of God. Jinwright said he received his mortuary license from a New York school in 1975.
The Jinwrights opened their first funeral home business in 1996. Then in 2007, court records show, they borrowed more than $1 million from Bank of America to build the 7,248-square-foot Pineville location.
As the couple fell behind in payments and the bank began the foreclosure process, Anthony Jinwright was served notice by a Mecklenburg sheriff’s deputy in the county jail, where he was awaiting sentencing.
Anthony Jinwright, 54, was sentenced to eight years and nine months in prison. Harriet Jinwright, 51, was given six years and eight months.
Prosecutors presented evidence showing that the couple lived lavishly while their church struggled to pay its bills. Greater Salem in November filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to avoid its own foreclosure proceedings.
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