Head of secretive North Carolina sect named in fraud filing

October 25, 2018 - 9:09 pm

The leader of a secretive North Carolina church has been named in federal court records as someone who "promoted" an unemployment fraud scheme involving her congregants.

Jane Whaley is the leader of the Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale.

She was named in a document filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Asheville that describes a fraud conspiracy charge faced by one of her trusted advisers, Kent Covington.

Covington's lawyer said his client was expected to plead guilty.

Court records do not indicate Whaley has been charged with any crime.

In an investigation of claims of physical and emotional abuse at the church, The Associated Press reported in September 2017 that authorities were looking into unemployment practices.

Since then, four people have been charged and two have pleaded guilty.

AP Editorial Categories: