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Posted: March 7, 2009 8:52 a.m.

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Angel Food founders reach settlement, avoid hearing

MONROE, Ga. (AP) - The leaders of a multimillion dollar food charity under FBI investigation for possible financial misdeeds have reached an agreement to keep them from being barred from their Monroe headquarters.

Attorneys in a lawsuit involving Angel Food Ministries reached an agreement Friday after a Walton County court hearing.

The charity is run by the Rev. Joseph Wingo, his wife and two sons.

The Feb. 25 suit filed by Angel Food board members Craig Atnip, of Texas, and David Prather, of Georgia, alleged the Wingos enriched themselves by at least $2.7 million and directed $600,000 from Angel Food to their church as a "housing allowance."

Under the agreement, the Wingos will allow an audit of Angel Food Ministries and agreed to stop using corporate credit cards for personal expenses, according to Thomas Rogers, an attorney representing the board members. Rogers said Prather and Atnip planned to resign from the board.

In the agreement, Rev. Wingo also signed over ownership of a jet to Angel Food Ministries. Rogers said Wingo owned the jet and leased the aircraft to Angel Food at a profit.

On Friday, the Wingos sat quietly as a team of more than seven attorneys argued to have Judge John M. Ott toss out the case.

Attorneys representing the Wingos would not reveal further details of the settlement afterward, and the Wingos themselves declined to comment.

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