GRAPEVINE, Texas — Representatives for prosperity preacher Benny Hinn have confirmed that the federal government is “reviewing certain operations” following a raid on Hinn’s Texas office.
“As has been widely reported, Benny Hinn Ministries is cooperating fully with the governmental entities that are reviewing certain operations of the Church,” a social media post released on Thursday read.
“The ministry has undergone intense scrutiny over the years, and we remain confident that there will again be a positive and speedy outcome in the days ahead,” it said.
The post generated over 12k likes as of press time.
As previously reported, federal investigators raided Hinn’s Grapevine office after obtaining a warrant on Wednesday. Benny Hinn Ministries and World Healing Center Church are both located approximately half an hour outside of Dallas.
U.S. Postal Service inspectors and IRS criminal investigators were seen carrying out boxes throughout the day.
“It looked like a big raid: people everywhere, police people everywhere out there, and just rushing in,” John Ebert, who works next door, also told local television station NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.
Special Agent Michael Moseley with IRS Criminal Investigations told WFAA that a tax evasion/government fraud investigation was underway.
“Today, we are here on official business, we are conducting a search warrant on the premises, basically that’s all I can tell you today,” he said. “We are primarily investigating Title 26, which is tax evasion and general fraud against the government.”
Hinn, known for his “This Is Your Day” broadcast on TBN, as well as his popular healing crusades, was also investigated by the IRS in 2005. In 2007, a Senate Finance Committee examined the finances of several wealthy televangelists, including Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Paula White, Joyce Meyer, Eddie Long and Hinn.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, specifically cast doubt on their possession of personal planes and opulent homes, but there was no definitive declaration of wrongdoing when the investigation concluded in 2011.
Response to Wednesday’s raid was mixed, with supporters characterizing the investigation as an “attack” of the devil, and others expressing a hope that the matter would bring Hinn to repentance.
“The enemy is terribly afraid. This is a very strategic time for ministries and ministers of integrity and Holy Ghost power to move ahead. He wants it stopped,” one commenter asserted.
“I have no regard for the televangelists like him that have put people’s souls in danger because of these clowns and their bank accounts of the billions of dollars they have stolen from innocent weak people,” another wrote.
Hinn claims on his website that 87 cents of every dollar goes to ministry and that his organization is active in “crisis relief, children’s homes and feeding programs, as well as in hospital and emergency care.” The site, however, also contains material promoting “seed faith” donations.
“If you have been at a low-level harvest for a long time, then it’s time to release your prosperity with higher seed-level giving. It’s time to move into high gear and release the prosperity anointing over yourself and your loved ones!” it reads. “I want to ask you to move to a higher level of faith by giving a gift of $1,000 just like I did, so that God will do for you what He did for me. Or give a gift of $120. Why $120? The number 120 signifies the end of judgment and the beginning of favor.”