Pastor team Rev. Carl Keyes and Rev. Donna Keyes were found taking $1.2 million from church charities as personal loans in an Associated Press investigation; they have now agreed to repay the money.
The ministers of Glad Tidings Tabernacle in Manhattan illegally borrowed $500,000 from poverty organization Aid for the World in 2008 which Carl Keyes ran himself. Money that was designated for victims of Hurricane Katrina and 9/11 was taken from another charity Keyes controlled, called Urban Life Ministries.
Over the years, the couple used thousands to fund an 18th century farmhouse in New Jersey, a BMW, credit card bills, family trips across the country and to Africa, and paid off the mortgage of another New Jersey home.
Former executive director of Glad Tidings Tabernacle Mark Costantin was also found owing the church $482,000; he had taken $1.2 million to pay off his own mortgage.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said, “Carl and Donna Keyes and Mark Costantin abused the trust of their congregations and used Glad Tidings Tabernacle as their personal bank.”
The couple will now repay the church $1,231,105, which includes interest on the illegal loans.
Three former church board members will also pay $50,000 for failing to notice the illegal transactions.
The ministers and Costantin have been banned from serving as fiduciaries of charities or religious companies. Donna Keyes will remain senior pastor of the church.
Publication date: May 15, 2014