FEDS PROBE ‘ANGEL’ DELLA’S CHURCH
Published on: July 20, 2011
Allegations of missing church funds spark IRS investigation of "Touched by an Angel" star DELLA REESE!
DELLA is caught up in an Internal Revenue Service probe after an ENQUIRER investigation revealed that she covered up for employees who swindled $1.5 million from her church.
And while Della told The ENQUIRER that she informed her congregation about the missing funds and chose not to prosecute, sources say the federal government has nevertheless launched a probe into the actions of the beloved 80-year-old actress.
“The IRSis looking into the church’s finances,” Billie Hall, Della’s former executive assistant, told The ENQUIRER.
“An IRS agent recently contacted me and asked questions about what I saw and heard Della and Franklin do in regard to money they raised for the church and how it was disbursed.”
Another former church employee confirmed the IRS probe.
“An IRS agent asked me questions about how Della and Franklin handled church funds and the intermingling of church accounts and their personal accounts,” the ex-employee told The ENQUIRER.
“I was asked who handled the money and checks and who had access to the church account. The agent said they were ‘gathering information,’ and I may get more calls as they move forward.”
IRS public information officer Felicia McCain would neither confirm nor deny an investigation into Della’s church, but she requested a copy of Della’s ENQUIRER interview.
Della, an ordained minister, and her husband Franklin Lett founded Understanding Principles for Better Living Church. In an exclusive ENQUIRER interview, she said the two of them had traced the missing money to former employees, who had been cashing church checks and using church credit cards.
D e l l a claimed that she opted not to prosecute after notifying the congregation about the theft.
But Hall disputes THAT.
“I worked for Della and Franklin for nine years, and they never told the entire congregation that money was missing from any church fund,” Hall said.
“Many former employees know the truth about the questionable way they handled church finances.”