Torrence’s Take On the Darin McAllister SituationPublished by Torrence Glenn on Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 4:41 pm.
Well folks, it looks we have another situation going on in this world we call gospel music or more so the “church world.” I’ve always maintained and believed that although our beliefs and value systems are and should be different than the rest of the world, at the end of the day, this is the world we live in… (I know a few of the saints will take it a step further and go “we’re in this world, but not of this world.”! Ha! But it’s true.) So with that, the church is simply a smaller sample of the larger world and will have many of the same elements. You have nice people in the world; you’ll have nice people in church. You have mean people in the world; you’ll have mean people in church. You’ll have liars, cheaters, thieves and freaks in the world at large, and the church has some of those too. So, needless to say I guess that the church isn’t immune to legal issues.
As I’m sure you know as it’s been reported in both mainstream news media and some gospel sites (Check DaGospeltruth.com and 1800gospel.com’s coverage) that Darin McAllister, husband of Praise & Worship GURU Judith Christie-McAllister, was indicted on 19 counts of wire and bank fraud last Wednesday, May 19 in Nashville, TN. What I think makes this story more interesting is that Darin was an FBI agent.
I’ll try my best to break down what he’s exactly being accused of. Sure, I’ve sat on a grand jury before but be very clear, I’m no attorney, paralegal, court reporter, bailiff or anything like that so bear with me. The wire fraud part, which is like 15 of the 19 counts, is the part that confuses me a little bit. Basically, the U.S. attorney claims Darin tricked (isn’t that pretty much was “defrauded” is?) Sun Trust’s Mortgage Company in financing him so that he could buy $1.25M (yep, million) worth of rental properties, which leads to count 16. In order to get the money to buy these properties, they’re claiming he lied about being the President of Judah Music, the company his wife Judith is credited as being founder and president of. He also is accused of lying about his salary, which he said to be $500,000 a year. He’s also charged with using this false information to get a $100,000 line of credit from Sun Trust Bank. All of this happened in 2006. Now we get to counts 17, 18, and 19 when he applied for bankruptcy last July. Count 17 claims that he basically lied and said that he had no other income besides his job(s) 2 years prior to the bankruptcy proceeding when he actually had received income from the rental properties. Count 18 claims that he lied about not having any properties repossessed or foreclosed upon a year before the bankruptcy proceeding and allegedly he did. Count 19 claims that he lied about not transferring any of his properties within 2 years of the bankruptcy proceeding when apparently he did.
It’s enough to make you a little dizzy and need a glass of water right? If Darin McAllister is convicted he could face up to 345 years in jail. And knowing what I know, most people don’t live 345 years much less 345 extra ones. But we have to acknowledge that one part “if convicted.” What I love about the good ole USA is that we’re all innocent until proven guilty and these are things they allege he did and he very well may be INNOCENT. I mean, if he was an FBI agent, what level of fool would have tried to get away with any of it. We’re all in the government’s “database” so to speak, but he worked FOR the government. On top of jail, I’d recommend his punishment include getting laughed at daily and called a dunce! I mean really, that part just doesn’t add up to me. But if he is guilty of any of these charges, one is somwhat forced to ask the kind of uncomfortable question: “Did Judith McAllister know about any of this?” You can admit it because it’s the first thing I wondered too. She hasn’t been charged with anything, but it just makes you wonder. For example, if she’s the president of Judah Music, how could he claim to be the president also? Were they co-presidents? In order to get $100,000 lines of credit and financing to buy over a million bucks worth of rental properties, you’d think the bank would need to see something that said he’s the president. Wouldn’t she have to sign off on that? Or maybe not. I don’t know, but these are just some of the things that swirl around your head when you read this stuff.
Like I said and I’ll probably say a few more times just to be clear, Darin McAllister may be innocent. But what I find interesting is that stories like this where leaders involved in church work have been charged, or in the case of Bishop Anthony and Harriet Jinwright in Charlotte, NC, CONVICTED of trying to financially defraud the government are popping up everywhere. In the case of the Jinwright’s, they’re accused of tax evasion by failing to report about $1.8M (yes, that’s millions again) in taxable income to the IRS. I won’t get into that case here, but it’s a real “doozie.” (Shout out to my grandma, I get that old school word from her.) If you want to read more into it, go www.qcitymetro.com and search “Jinwright.” They’re coverage of the story is ridiculously thorough and it’s a pretty interesting story. But just a piece of advice, don’t take the church credit card to Vegas for vacation and don’t pay your children’s college tuition out of the church’s operating budget. (Yeah, it’s that kind of crazy!)
But back to “my take” which is why I wrote this thing in the first place. I talked about 2 cases where church folks are either being charged or convicted of trying to hide money, steal money or misuse money but there are so many more going on in our local communities and churches that I’m sure we could fill up 20 blogs with ‘em. THIS IS STUPID! You can’t run from God and following in a close second is the government, especially when it comes to money. I’m not one of those people who is opposed to ministers, artists, etc. living well while doing God’s work. I’m actually all for it, but you have to follow the rules. “Favor” is one thing but cheating is another. Get your money; make as much of it as you can and spend it on what you want, but don’t try to get over. Truthfully, right is right whether you’re a Christian or not, but some stuff just looks worse when we do it. Now, let me be clear, we all make mistakes, get caught up in ourselves and sin and need forgiveness like water! THAT’S NOT GONNA CHANGE. But full on schemes to steal and cheat folks out of stuff is kind of insane and messed up. Call me judgmental (you really can’t and you know I’m not, but was just giving the option) but there’s something about stealing and lying purposefully that’s just ugly in a different way. Is it just me?
So for the sake of Judith Christie McAllister who is probably my favorite (or at least top 3) in the “Praise & Worship” genre of gospel, I hope Darin turns out to be innocent and that she had nothing to do with any of it. I’m a huge fan and want her to do well. Praying and hoping the best for her and everyone else involved. That goes for Darin and the Jinwright’s too. Hopefully everyone at least learns a lesson from all of this so it’s not for nothing.
That’s my take, what do you think?