Yes, you read that title correctly, this is about a Prosperity Gospel Scamvangelist named Todd Coontz who is currently in jail for fraud, and yet is still successfully operating his con while in jail.
What is the story here?
Todd Coontz runs an organization called “Rockwealth International Ministries”. (Sorry, I’m not linking to it, but you can google it).
On the surface, it looks like a good charitable organization. You send them “seed money” – that’s a “Prosperity Gospel” hook that panders to the idea that if you give to God then he will reward you with more money. They in turn supposedly provide emergency relief to those in need due to famine, drought, flood, war, or other natural disasters.
It turns out that the folks “in need” were mainly Dr. Todd and his family.
- His ministry purchased a $1.5 million condominium, his own home.
- His ministry also purchased for him all of these – “a 2011 BMW, a 2011 Regal 2500 boat, a 2012 BMW convertible, a 2011 Lexus, a 2011 Land Rover, a 2006 Ferrari, a 2012 Maserati, a 2013 BMW, a 2013 Land Rover, and a 2012 Ferrari.” – Yes there are at least 3 BMWs and a Ferrari in that list.
- Let’s not forget the $200,000 for clothing purchases and tens of thousands of dollars for meals and entertainment
The one item there, the thing that really got him was this – federal tax liabilities amounting to more than $326,000.
This was not simply your normal Megachuch scam, he got very very greedy and that was his downfall. He basically hid income from the IRS.
Scam the public under a religious banner and the public has a problem. Scam the IRS, and you have a problem.
Here is a nice quote from that story …
“As a minister, Coontz preached about receiving and managing wealth, yet he failed to keep his own finances in order,” Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, said as she announced the charges. “Coontz will now receive a first-hand lesson in ‘rendering unto Caesar’ that which is due.”
The charges include three counts of failure to pay tax, each carrying a maximum federal prison term of one year, and four counts of aiding and assisting in filing false tax returns, each carrying a maximum term of three years.
The reason all of this emerged is that a Local TV station, Channel 9, has a reporter named Jim Bradley who has been running a long investigation of this fraudster.
The insights via Jim’s report attracted the attention of the authorities and so they in turn investigated and then charged him.
Yes, the irony is not lost on me that the downfall of a TV Scamvangelist was a TV investigation.
That was back in 2017 – How did it all play out?
He has lots of money to buy lawyers to he delayed with appeals. In 2019 it looked like game-over when he went to jail, but that just triggered yet another appeal …
So that was it then, off to jail?
Nope, he appealed yet again, this time to the supreme court.
On Feb 22, 2021, they formally denied that appeal and so it was finally game over.
On Mar 10, he went behind bars. He has a five-year sentence, so with only a bit of time already served, there he will remain until June 3, 2025.
This is a happy ending, it is end-game and no more scamming people … right?
The latest News – He is still scamming people … from jail
Via an article written by Sarah Einselen within The Roys Report we have an update.
As a quick side note, The Roys Report is a Christian media outlet. They expose all the corruption and abuse.
In the last month, 20 separate emails have gone out to email subscribers of RockWealth International Ministries … In the emails, Coontz urges supporters to “sow your seed” through donations to his ministry. He asks for donations of $100, $500, and even a $1,000 “millionaires receivers seed” — saying that “God Is Birthing Millionaires” and those donors can “Expect 3 Supernatural Harvests!”…
It will of course be no surprise to discover that these begging letters contain no mention of him being in jail until 2025 for fraud, nor does his website even hint that this is where he is.
If you do in fact check out the Rockwealth International Ministries website you might be rather astonished to discover that Todd does not appear to have any speaking engagements booked, but they do assure you that if you keep checking back then something just might pop up. They also have a link you can use to invite Todd to come to your church to speak.
For some mysterious reason, they fail to mention Todd’s calendar is currently full until 2025
Not even a hint.
The far more interesting question to wonder about is how a guy in jail, can solicit for money like this. As pointed out by Sarah within her article …
Pensacola FPC rules state “inmates may not operate or direct businesses while incarcerated.”
It is truly jaw-dropping stuff to observe a scam being run by a guy who is currently in jail for running a scam.
Meanwhile, if you are ever thinking of donating to any of these ministries to earn God points, the one thing you need to get your head around is that when placing a bet in this casino, the house always wins. You never will because this game is rigged.
As for promoting the gospel, Matthew 25:34-40 does suggest that part of that involves reaching out to people in prison. Todd appears to have found a rather efficient way to accomplish that.