Two former officials of the now-defunct Angel Food Ministries pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges including money laundering connected to a two-year federal investigation into the nonprofit.
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Andrew Wingo and Harry Michaels were named in a 49-count federal indictment that alleges that officials from the ministry siphoned millions of dollars from the nonprofit to support their lavish lifestyles. The indictment also includes allegations of kickbacks from vendors who sold food to the ministry. Also named in the indictment are Angel Food's founders, and Andy Wingo's parents, Joe and Linda Wingo.
Angel Food, founded 17 years ago and based in Monroe, bought food in bulk and sold it at a discount to families through a network of churches. At its peak, it sold about 600,000 boxes of food a month in 45 states. The ministry, once held up by the White House as a model of success, closed its doors in September, blaming rising fuel, food and operational costs for its demise.
During their appearance in court Tuesday, Andy Wingo and Michaels asked for court-appointed attorneys.
In what U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles H. Weigle called an unusual move, Atlanta attorney Thomas D. Bever asked that he be allowed to represent Michaels, who worked in procurement for Angel Food.
Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution | Shelia M. Poole