Gospel for Asia Suing Insurance Company over Attorney Fees in RICO Case

Gospel for Asia has retained Locke Lord to defend them against the allegations of fraud by Garland and Phyllis Murphy. One of their attorneys is Harriet Miers, former White House counsel to President George W. Bush. Furthermore, GFA has to pay the costs of a Special Master since they were sanctioned by federal judge Timothy Brooks. No doubt the costs are high for all of that.

According to a suit filed by GFA in March, GFA’s leaders (K.P. Yohannan, David Carroll, Pat Emerick, etc.)  hoped to recover those legal fees via an insurance claim with Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company. Although details are sealed, it appears the insurance company declined to fully pay GFA’s claim. Here is a brief statement of the dispute from a recent court document.

1.1 GFA Parties bring this action for Philadelphia’s breaches of its common law duty of good faith and fair dealing and the Texas Insurance Code for unfair settlement practices and for failing to promptly pay covered claims as a result of its wrongful denials and/or wrongful delays in providing defenses in lawsuits against them.

1.2. Philadelphia denies that any reasonable defense fees or expenses remain unpaid and contends that, accordingly, this case should be dismissed. Additionally, Philadelphia denies that it breached its common law duty of good faith and fair dealing or the Texas Insurance Code. Philadelphia contends that it had a reasonable basis for the coverage positions that it has taken and liability was not reasonably clear.

For more detail, see GFA’s original petition.

One crucial court document is sealed and Philadelphia Insurance declined to speak to me. In plain language, it appears that the insurance company has found a reason why they believe they are not liable to pay the claim GFA made. It may be that Locke Lord’s fees are beyond reasonable or that Philadelphia believes GFA is at fault in some way. In any case, the trial is to be by jury in late 2019, probably after the RICO trial.

GFA and Lawsuits

For a Christian ministry, GFA here and abroad, is involved in many legal battles. Aside from the RICO suit, and now the action against their insurance company, GFA has sued the Church of South India for defamation. Back in 2015, GFA threatened Patheos with legal action when I published audio of a staff meeting. I wonder how many donor designate their funds for the legal defense fund.

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Image Fair use, GFA Facebook page

6 thoughts on “Gospel for Asia Suing Insurance Company over Attorney Fees in RICO Case”

  1. That picture of KP is creepy..weird!! He is getting into some really bizarre spiritual stuff. I don’t recall any evangelical church in all of India outfitted like that. Looks like they are performing some odd ritual. The white things with black tops look like they took water tanks off the roofs and covered them in some white cloth. What is inside those things?

  2. I understand why churches are allowed to use donations to pay for civil legal work. Much of that falls under general and administrative costs. However, some of the cases currently underway make me to wonder why churches are allowed to use donations to pay for their criminal defense work? Although GFA is not facing that at this point, it seems inevitable. Judge Brooks ruled that fraud charges could be pursued in the state of Arkansas. There have also been indications that a federal criminal investigation is still open on GFA.

    Back in April 2017, Benny Hinn’s DFW corporate headquarters was raided for two days by Federal agents. Benny said this summer that he has already had to pay over $600,000 in criminal defense fees, which God providentially provided for via donations. He expects his legal bills will be between $1M-$1.5M by Christmas which the Lord said He will provide for. Benny said the Lord will continue to provide donated funds to pay for Benny’s ongoing criminal legal fees, which will likely be in the millions, while he is under this “demonic attack.” I assume that any fines, restitution, penalties and interest will also be paid for via donations.

    Churches like Benny Hinn Ministries and GFA generously avoid paying taxes based on the concept that they operate for “the good of the public”. However, when these orgs start committing crimes, it becomes apparent that they are no longer operating for the good of the public. Should the donations that pay for these criminal defenses be tax deductible for donors and the income tax free for the offenders? Why wouldn’t all criminals, especially the ones who end up paying millions in legal fees, set up non-profits to shelter taxes on these sizable criminal defense fees?

    Hillsong just left the ACC (Australia’s AGO Conference) in order to start their own denomination. They also moved their global headquarters from Australia to the US. Australia actually does impose some oversight for their registered charities. Hillsong discovered that little or no oversight will be standing in their way in the US. I wonder how many other “orgs” will be establishing “church” HQ’s in the US, to handle the finances of their global operations in the future? I think it is doubtful that Marty Byrde is the only money launderer to figure out that churches are one of the best vehicles for moving money around completely tax free while avoiding legal scrutiny.

  3. The legal defense fund does nearly as much to take care of the poor and needy as the funds designated for such things. Sigh.

  4. Interesting. They admit being harmed to the tune of more than $1 million by Philadelphia refusing to pay up, despite having obtained partial coverage from another insurance company. High-priced lawyers are expensive.

  5. I cannot help but notice that the “Statement of Facts” in the “Original Petition” seems remarkably devoid of actual facts. It states baldly that “the reasons provided by Philadelphia for denying coverage were wrong” (surely an opinion or conclusion rather than a “fact”) without stating either what those reasons were or why they were wrong.

    IANAL, but I have to wonder if such unsubstantiated ‘they done did us wrong’ statements are an acceptable basis for a legal action.

  6. GFA seems very cultish… I hope that they repent, but that doesn’t seem likely… but thanks for the hard work on tracking them and informing us.

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