ASHEVILLE — MITCH WEISS and HOLBROOK MOHR of the Associated Press report today that “The leader of a secretive church in North Carolina has been named in federal court records as someone who “promoted” an unemployment fraud scheme involving businesses owned by members of her congregation.”
In a document filed yesterday in US District Court, Whaley is named as part of the fraud conspiracy charge. The Associated Press investigated the church in a 2017 series of reports investigating physical and emotional abuse, unemployment fraud, and human trafficking.
Kent Covington, a church minister, denied Whaley’s specific instruction in the court document. See the AP report for details. Covington’s defense attorney said that his client did not tell the truth to the North Carolina Employment Security Commission, which oversees unemployment benefits. According to the AP Jane Whaley was not compromised in this document.
Covington is expected to plead guilty next month in court in a plea agreement.