Federal Judge Dismisses Tax-Evasion Indictment Against Evangelist Morris Cerullo

A California judge has dismissed the tax evasion indictment filed against evangelist Morris Cerullo in July 2005.

In his Aug. 8 ruling, San Diego federal Judge Roger T. Benitez said federal prosecutors and Internal Revenue Service agents misled the grand jury on the primary legal issue in the case by not telling them that the donor’s intent determines whether money given to ministers is taxable earned income or a nontaxable gift.

“The grand jury asked repeatedly how to distinguish a gift from earnings,” Benitez wrote in his decision. “It was incumbent on the prosecutor to correctly inform the grand jury as to the Supreme Court's approach to this penultimate question. Yet, the prosecutor and the revenue agent witnesses failed to tell the grand jury that the donor's intent is the most critical factor.”

Benitez said the case, which was scheduled to go to trial Aug. 21, could not proceed because the misleading information had compromised the grand jury. In July 2005, Cerullo was indicted for allegedly filing false tax returns between 1998 and 2000, and under-reporting his income by $550,000 during that time.

Benitez said prosecutors argued that all the money Cerullo received from preaching engagements was earned income. But the givers’ intent was never determined because prosecutors never interviewed any donors.


To contact us or to submit an article, click here.


Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective