United States

Federal Investigators Searching Televangelist Benny Hinn's Grapevine Offices

Neighbors saw agents swarm into the building about 9 a.m. Wednesday

U.S. Postal Service inspectors and IRS criminal investigators returned Thursday to search the Grapevine offices of prominent televangelist Benny Hinn.

Though NBC 5 crews saw a large number of federal agents walking in and out of the offices with boxes, investigators would not say what they are looking for or even confirm they are investigating Hinn.

Neighbors saw the agents swarm into the building about 9 a.m. Wednesday.

"It looked like a big raid – people everywhere, police people everywhere out there, and just rushing in," said John Ebert, who works next door.

The IRS criminal investigators on scene primarily investigate tax evasion and general fraud against the government.

Investigators said most of the employees had gone home and Hinn himself was not present. According to a schedule posted on his website, Hinn is in Paris, France.

A woman reached by phone at Hinn's offices said no one from the ministry would be making any comments.

A post published Thursday afternoon on the official Benny Hinn Ministries Facebook page read as follows:

"As has been widely reported, Benny Hinn Ministries is cooperating fully with the governmental entities that are reviewing certain operations of the Church.

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.

Pastor Benny appreciates the love, prayers, and support of our beloved partners as we continue to minister the saving and healing Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world."

Hinn is known around the world for his "Miracle Crusades," revival and faith-healing gatherings broadcast on the televised program "This Is Your Day."

Hinn was one of six well-known televangelists investigated by the Senate Finance Committee beginning in 2007. After more than three years, Hinn and the other pastors involved were cleared of any official wrongdoing.

Hinn said at the time that he complied with tax regulations for religious nonprofits and that following the investigation he made changes to how he ran his ministry and set compensation.

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