EntertainmentTVFormer Hillsong Employee Claims Church Moved Millions of Dollars...

Former Hillsong Employee Claims Church Moved Millions of Dollars through Overseas Accounts to Avoid Regulators


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A former Hillsong employee is suing the megachurch, claiming the church moved millions of dollars through overseas accounts to avoid regulators.

According to ABC Investigations, the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission launched an investigation into Hillsong in March.

The former Hillsong employee, Natalia Moses, is suing the church as part of a Fair Work case against the church.

Moses, who worked in the church’s financial department, claims there was “dubious” financial record keeping, misappropriation of church finances, and “large cash gifts” given to Hillsong founder Brian Houston and his family.

Court documents from Moses also allege that Hillsong hid international money transfers by making payments through U.S.-based entities.

Hillsong Church has not responded to the lawsuit, but the church’s lawyers said the church will cooperate with investigators.

“We are further instructed that Hillsong is continuing to work with the enquiries (sic) made by the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission,” they said.

“As the matter is now before the Federal Court of Australia, it is inappropriate to make any further comment.”

Moses said she was let go from the church after she refused to “deceive” regulators regarding the church’s overseas investments. Her lawyers say Hillsong breached its own whistleblower policy in firing her.

“There are very serious allegations that our client makes about Hillsong effectively misleading an investigation [by] the ACNC,” Josh Bornstein, who is representing Ms. Moses in her employment law case, said.

“There are concerns that Australian taxpayers are being ripped off by Hillsong.

“On top of that, [the allegations] also raise moral and ethical issues about the conduct of a religious institution and what appears to be a cowboy culture operating within that empire.”

Moses said she brought up her concerns to Hillsong’s chief financial officer Peter Ridley.

In one case, Australian Hillsong asked for donations to renovate Melbourne’s “Festival Hall,” a facility owned by a Hillsong-related entity. But Moses said the church would be committing fraud by telling church members the money was tax-deductible.

Moses said it was also unethical and illegal for the church to use tax-deductible donations given to its charity, the Hillsong Foundation Trust, to pay for its $9 million deficit.

The Hillsong Foundation Trust’s stated mission is “to bring care and justice to vulnerable groups in the name of Jesus.”

Photo courtesy: ©Lauren Bryan/Unsplash

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.

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