The SPL Center reports that The Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ (ICGJC) in Harlem is one of the biggest groups in the United States.
It has been fueled by an enthusiastic membership making mandatory monthly tithes with the impression that the money would be used for the “Church.” Instead, the United States Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey is alleging that the group’s leader, Jermaine Grant aka Chief High Priest Tazadaqyah, and the group’s director, vice president and treasurer, Lincoln Warrington, diverted over $2 million from the groups coffers to other ventures, including the leaders’ luxury household expenses. It is also alleged that they did not report over $5 million in income to the IRS.
This occurred over a nine-year period, from 2009 through 2017.
Grant and Warrington were taken into custody last Wednesday. This was after an exhaustive investigation by the FBI and IRS. The group’s headquarters in Harlem was raided by law enforcement on November 3, 2016.
The indictment states that Grant and Warrington created a for-profit company called Black Icon Entertainment (BIE), which was used to make Grant, a former music producer and restauranteur, look wealthier and more successful than he was and to siphon money from ICGJC to BIE. Some of the money, over $2 million went directly to Grant’s pocket. Another $1.35 million went to pay for BIE’s operating expenses, although “BIE virtually conducted no legitimate business” according to the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s office.
It is also alleged that Grant and Warrington took money straight from ICGJC which paid for properties, luxury cars, clothing and home furnishings for the Grant family, private school for the Grant’s children, as well as a personal chauffeur, and a Disney vacation.
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