Frank Jacobs, Sr., a pastor from Quest Church in Concord, North Carolina, took to Facebook on Sunday to apologize to his congregation regarding the tax and wire fraud charges he pleaded guilty to early this month.
"Well, it's been a tough week, a very tough weeks for me and my family...I first want to apologize to you...as church members and people who follow this ministry for being in a situation where you have to even see this, hear this, deal with this with your friends and colleagues. I'm very embarrassed by it, and I'm very sorry about it, and I apologize to you that you're enduring this even as I endure it. I'm sorry to you because you had nothing to do with it," Jacobs said.
Jacobs went on to reveal the purpose of doing the livestream, which was to reiterate the values of "personal responsibility" and "personal accountability" that he has been talking of for several years and which he is also doing. Jacobs then mentioned the Bible since it speaks of these values before asking forgiveness again from the congregation. He then expressed appreciation to all those who showed support and asked for prayers.
"Most of you know that my favorite book is the Bible, my second favorite book is The Oz Principle of Accountability. And when you do something that you shouldn't do, you ought to take the accountability and responsibility for it. I ask you to forgive me. I ask you to forgive me for what I've done," Jacobs stressed.
"I appreciate very deeply the many text messages, phone calls that have come to me. I've not been able to talk in-depth about this...but I appreciate the prayers of the saints. I appreciate the support of the ministry as we continue to move forward. And I'm just grateful for the outpouring of love I've seen as a result of this...We'll get through this. I'll get through this. Keep us lifted up. Keep us in your prayers," he added.
The Christian Post said North Carolina's Western District Attorney Dena King announced that Jacobs was guilty of his charges, which included filing fraudulent information and false tax returns to acquire a $52,000 loan from the government under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) given to small businesses during the pandemic.
Jacobs, who appeared in the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of North Carolina on January 4, admitted guilty for filing on April 22, 2020 in behalf of Quest Church for the PPP loan and in several instances since 2014.
Accordingly, Jacobs has been having problems in filing the annual tax return-specifically the U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns and Forms 1040-since 2009, which was filed late alongside that of 2013, 2015, and 2017. This was even after being notified by IRS for the filing of those returns and the need to pay corresponding taxes for it.
"Jacobs did file a tax return for tax year 2014, but, as he admitted in court today, Jacobs both underreported his income on the returns he filed and failed to make a payment to the IRS for any tax liabilities," the Attorney's Office said in a statement.
"Jacobs claimed that Quest Church paid wages totaling more than $135,000 to five employees, from which federal income taxes had been withheld, when in fact Quest Church never reported any payments of any wages to the IRS for the corresponding calendar year, nor did it pay any withholding taxes on such income," the office highlighted.
Jacobs is said to be "released on bond following his court appearance" and awaiting the date of his sentence. He faces a maximum of three years imprisonment with a $250,000 fine for filing a false tax return and a maximum of 20 years imprisonment with the same amount of penalty of $250,000 for the fraud wire charge.