Member of secretive church gets probation in benefits scheme

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Broken Faith Rules_393008

This 2016 image from video shows the entrance to the Word of Faith Fellowship church in Spindale, N.C. Newcomers to the Word of Faith Fellowship live by a list of strict rules for daily life, which sect leader Jane Whaley says God revealed to her, former members say. (AP Photo/Alex Sanz)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A member of a secretive North Carolina church has been sentenced to 10 months of home confinement for taking part in an unemployment fraud scheme benefiting businesses with ties to the congregation.

Diane McKinny also received three years of probation at the federal court hearing Thursday. She pleaded guilty in May to making a fraudulent claim for unemployment benefits for workers at a company run by a minister at Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale.

Prosecutors have said the company, Diverse Corporate Technologies, laid off employees in 2008 so they could collect unemployment benefits. But prosecutors say the employees continued to work at the company, with government money replacing their salaries.

McKinny was the fourth person to plead guilty in a probe of the scheme involving multiple businesses linked to the church.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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