"For scorners delight in their scorning...I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes..." (Proverbs 1)
Kentucky - Self proclaimed doomsday prophet Ronald Weinland was found guilty this month of federal tax evasion. The preacher reportedly attempted to use his belief in the end of the world as part of his defense.
After deliberating for only three hours and 45 minutes, a jury of his peers found 63-year-old Ronald Weinland guilty on five counts of tax evasion. On June 13, just one day after taking the stand in his own defense, Weinland was delivered the news.
According to the grand jury indictment, Weinland was accused of lying on his tax forms, funneling church money into foreign bank accounts and writing off illegal personal expenses in an effort to avoid paying nearly $360,000 in taxes between 2005 and 2010.
During the eight-day trial, the preacher and his attorney attempted to convince the jury that the reason Weinland deposited church funds into Swiss bank accounts was because (as he preached) he believed the "final days" were near.
Weinland claimed the beginning-of-the-end would start May 27, 2012, and said that just before the return of Jesus Christ, the U.S. financial system would collapse. Ironically, the start date given by the "prophet" came just eight days before the start of his trial.
However, prosecutors in the case were not buying it. According to Northern Kentucky News, "prosecutors argued the teachings of Weinland’s ministry were no excuse for not reporting the foreign accounts to tax collectors."
This is not the first time the self-proclaimed prophet predicted the end of the world. In a 2006 book written by Weinland, the minister warned believers, the end of the world is near, proclaiming the final day to be September 30, 2008.
Of course, his followers now know his prediction was wrong but that did not stop Weinland. After the day had come and gone, Weinland revised his prediction to May 27, 2012 and now claims the end of the world will arrive May 19, 2013.
Known as the Church of God – Preparing for the Kingdom of God, Weinland ran his ministry out of his $381,000 Kentucky home and would often stream sermons live via the Internet.
After posting a $300,000 bond, Weinland was placed on house arrest and on Sept. 24, will go before U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves for sentencing.
Ronald Weinland is facing up to five years in federal prison.