- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The former treasurer at Seed Faith International Church pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to obstruction of official court proceedings, U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein announced.
Jeffrey Mont, 33, of Indian Head began volunteering full time with the Waldorf church in June 2008, a year before a federal grand jury began investigating its minister, Robert “Dr. Shine” Freeman, for obstructing bankruptcy proceedings by hiding assets purchased with church funds, including a $1.75 million waterfront mansion, a fleet of luxury cars and a private jet.
Freeman and his wife declared bankruptcy in 2005 and were granted a discharge from their debts in 2006.
In addition to hiding millions in assets, the couple also claimed they had no income in 2003 or 2004 and only $4,000 in income during 2005. Neither filed federal income tax returns nor paid federal taxes between 2000 and 2005.
Freeman, 55, of Indian Head pleaded guilty in July and is scheduled to be sentenced May 7. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The grand jury issued a subpoena Nov. 24, 2009, requiring the church to produce corporate records dating between 2000 and 2008, according to Mont’s plea agreement.
As the church’s treasurer, Mont was served the subpoena two weeks later and on Dec. 24, 2009, he and Freeman provided copies of phony backdated records showing that church members had purchased the vehicles and real estate Freeman and his wife were using, the plea agreement states.
A month later, Mont produced original copies of the bogus records, which included applications and acceptance letters to a “Next Level of Faith Vehicle Access Program” and corporate resolutions adopting church members as “purchasing agents,” the plea agreement states.
“In fact, Mont knew that no such documents, programs or corporate resolutions existed at the time of the purchases,” a release from Rosentein’s office states.
His sentencing is set for June 25.