The Dallas Morning News has printed a response by Senator Charles Grassley. Below is a snippet of that article where Senator Grassley was asked what issues the investigation has brought out so far. The things found are more like a corrupt organization than a Christ-centered church. The investigation has uncovered an alarming amount of shady practices and deceit.
Here is Senator Grassley’s update:
Q: What are some of the issues the investigation has uncovered so far?
A: Related Entities: Preliminary research conducted by staff indicates that there are almost 100 entities related to the six churches as well as the ministers. It is unclear whether these entities are for-profit or nonprofit, whether they conduct activities directly with the churches, and if so, whether they are conducted on terms favorable to the church. For example, the tax laws do not allow for-profit entities to enrich themselves by overcharging non-profits that are controlled by the same people. It is also unclear as to whether any of these entities might also be claiming church status.
Inurement & Private Benefit: Aside from transactions with related entities, there are concerns about whether the churches are complying with the requirements of section 4958 of the Internal Revenue Code when determining compensation of the ministers as well entering into transactions with the related entities. Concerns are heightened by the fact that the churches share financial and legal advisors and by the fact that, in at least one case, a lawyer that raised section 4958 concerns may have been fired for raising these concerns.
Parsonage/Housing Allowances: There is concern that churches may be awarding minister status to employees for the sole purpose of making them eligible for tax-free housing benefits. Some ministers may also be claiming parsonage allowances for multiple personal residences across the country, as well as overseas.
Whistleblower Intimidation: Some of the churches have required employees to sign confidentiality agreements prohibiting employees from speaking about a church’s activities. Some former employees have received phone calls reminding them of their confidentiality agreements and threatening lawsuits if the agreements are breached.
Overseas Activities: Some of the churches conduct activities overseas, including the collection of significant cash contributions which may not be tracked or recorded for tax purposes. Source.