Angel Food Ministries, a Georgia-based ministry under investigation by the FBI, has settled a lawsuit filed by two board members who sought to change its leadership.
The ministry that distributes food to the needy issued a statement on March 6 saying the suit was dismissed and an agreement reached about its future.
“Joseph Wingo remains the chairman and CEO, and the Wingo family, who founded the ministry and devoted their lives to see it grow, remain at the helm,” the ministry said.
A suit filed in February by board members Craig Atnip of Texas and David “Tony” Prather of Georgia asked a Walton County Superior Court judge to ban Wingo, his wife, Linda, and their sons Andy and Wesley from the ministry’s property.
Angel Food, which distributes $30 boxes of food through tens of thousands of volunteers nationwide, has come under scrutiny for unusually large compensation paid to members of the Wingo family.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the agreement calls for the cancellation of the Wingos’ company credit cards and a forensic financial audit of the ministry. Joseph Wingo also is expected to sign over to Angel Food a company he owns that rented a corporate jet to the ministry at a profit of $10,000 a month.
Atnip and Prather agreed to resign from the board, but will retain the ability to take action when the audit is completed, their attorney Thomas Rogers said.
Lawyers speaking during the hearing said Linda Wingo and Andy Wingo have left their positions with the ministry, the newspaper reported.
In a previous statement, Angel Food Ministries acknowledged that a grand jury investigation has begun “into alleged financial irregularities concerning certain individuals.” It claimed the two board members, who accused ministry leaders of enriching themselves, were trying to make a “power grab.”
The board members countered that they were trying to help the ministry survive after questions were raised about the compensation packages.
In its announcement of the settlement, Angel Food Ministries said it had distributed 530,000 food boxes in February, a ministry milestone.