Australian MP Accuses Hillsong Church of Money Laundering and Tax Evasion

Must Read

Hillsong Church, founded by pastor Brian Houston, has been accused of money laundering and tax evasion by independent MP Andrew Wilkie

Mr Wilkie used parliamentary privilege to table documents from an alleged whistleblower, alleging that Hillsong diverted money into offshore accounts and spent millions on luxury items.

During parliamentary proceedings, Wilkie presented documents allegedly leaked from the mega-church that revealed an $80 million discrepancy between what it has publicly declared and its actual income. 

He provided an impassioned speech in the Federation Chamber, revealing that a whistleblower had approached him with financial records and board papers related to Hillsong Church.

The scandal hit the headlines when Mr Wilkie tabled the documents in Parliament, claiming four members of the Houston family were accused of spending $150,000 from church funds on a luxury retreat in Cancun, Mexico, and lavish spending on luxury items.

The former head of Hillsong Church, Brian Houston, has been accused of using “private jets like Ubers” and spending thousands of dollars on trips right before he stepped down from the church’s leadership in 2022. 

In response to these claims, Hillsong released a statement saying many of Mr Wilkie’s representations were either false or taken out of context. 

“Hillsong Church has been open and transparent with our congregation about past governance failures, and over the past twelve months, we have engaged independent, professional assistance to overhaul our governance and accountability procedures,” it said in a statement.

Mr Wilkie also emphasised that he has been in contact with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) but was disappointed at their lack of action. 

“That is a failure of regulatory oversight every bit as alarming as Hillsong’s criminality,” the MP said in Parliament.

The outcome of this investigation could have far-reaching implications for both Hillsong and other religious organisations in the country. 

- Advertisement -spot_img
Latest News
- Advertisement -spot_img

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -spot_img