Ex-minister gets 5 years in prison for failing to pay taxes

Published 01-29-2019

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - A former North Carolina minister has been sentenced to five years in prison for failing to pay taxes and assisting in the filing of false tax returns.

Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, announced that 51-year-old William Todd Coontz of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was sentenced Tuesday and must also pay $755,669 in restitution.

Coontz was minister of Rockwealth Ministries and also ran two for-profit companies. He also wrote books on faith and finances, such as "Please Don't Repo My Car" and "Breaking the Spirit of Debt."

Prosecutors say that from 2000 to 2014, Coontz filed delinquent income tax returns and failed to make timely payments. Evidence also showed Coontz underreported income on federal returns for 2010 through 2013 and engaged in a check cashing scheme.

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