Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Turner posts declarations and response pertaining to civil RICO suit, question, did the declarations and the response state that Mars Hill Global was restricted fund account?

declaration of John Sutton Turner in support of his motion to dismiss for failure to serve pursuant to fed civ p.4.(m)
http://investyourgifts.com/civil-rico-lawsuit-declarations/

...
19. Plaintiffs’ lawsuit intentionally overlooks the fact that Mars Hill Church published financial statements which were audited by independent CPA firms Clark Nuber PS and CapinCrouse LLP. These audits took place annually for many years, including the years of my employment from 2011-2014. All restricted fund accounting, including Campus Fund and Mars Hill Global, was reviewed by Clark Nuber PS and CapinCrouse LLPin these audits. ...


defendant John Sutton Turner's motion to dismiss for failure to serve pursuant fed civ p.4.(m) and for sanctions based on the courts inherent power
http://investyourgifts.com/civil-rico-lawsuit-response/

...
1. Plaintiffs’ lawsuit intentionally overlooks the fact that Mars Hill Church published financial statements which were audited by independent CPA firms Clark Nuber PS and Capin Crouse LLP. (Turner Decl. at ¶19). These audits took place annually for many years, including the years of Mr. Turner’s employment from 2011-2014 (Id.).  All restricted fund accounting, including Campus Fund and Mars Hill Global, was reviewed by Clark Nuber and CapinCrouse LLP in these audits.  ...

So, in light of the old controversy about Mars Hill Global ... does the response clarify that Mars Hill Global fund was restricted fund accounting? It seems pertinent because, at least as reported by Warren Throckmorton a while back..
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/10/13/when-a-fund-isnt-a-fund-mars-hill-church-tells-another-mars-hill-global-fund-story/

...
Alex then asked Dean:
I couldn’t tell from the FAQ on what the church spent on missions from 2012-14 and where it was spent. Is it possible to break down the yearly giving for those years to the Global Fund and what it was spent on?
Dean replied:
Despite what you may have read on blogs, we never had a separate fund for Global so we don’t have separate accounting for Global. We have used some confusing communications in the past, and have done much to correct that, but Global has never been a designated fund. We do spend money on church planters in Ethiopia and India (as indicated in the FAQ), but we don’t provide specific accounting of our different expenses. Just like we don’t provide how much we specifically spent on pens and tape, we don’t break out other expenses. I hope that makes sense.
No, to me, it doesn’t make sense. Dean later modified his statement about the Global Fund’s separateness, but even here the statement flies in the face of the statement on the FAQ page. On that page, Mars Hill claims:
In 2012- 2014 expenditures for church planting efforts in India and Ethiopia were increased with the preponderance of expenses related to church plants and replants in the U.S.

...

, I wrote to Dean to ask him to confirm the conversation was legitimate and ask him again for an explanation of the statement that the Global Fund wasn’t a fund. His reply contains a new wrinkle in Mars Hill’s communications regarding the Global Fund. Dean said: Alex and Warren,
I was incorrect to say we never had a separate fund setup for Global. The details of this issue can be confusing, I was confused as well and I gave you a wrong answer, and I apologize. I have done some checking and prior to 2012 we did have a separate fund. However, since 2012 we have not had a designated fund for missions work or international church planting. Beginning in 2012 the term “Global Fund” was used on our website to distinguish between global donors and local church donors. We realized the terminology used was confusing so we changed it to “General Fund (Local & Global). This is explained on our Global F.A.Q. page. 

For a transcript from a 2009 sermon in which Mark Driscoll explained what Global was (at that point, at least) go here:
http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2014/06/2009-mark-driscoll-sermon-sheds-some.html

For reference to a memo published and discussed by Throckmorton as to what percentage of funds could get designated to overseas activity from within Global

http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2014/10/w-throckmorton-memo-regarding-mh-global.html
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/10/01/mars-hill-global-fund-help-the-helpless-or-use-the-helpless/

http://wp.production.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/files/2014/10/GlobalFundMemo2011.png

For Throckmorton's coverage of MH Tacoma thanking Global in 2014 but not at the time the Tacoma campus was established ... if memory serves that general discussion is over at ...
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/10/14/why-did-mars-hill-tacoma-and-everett-wait-until-2014-to-thank-mars-hill-global/

Unfortunately on account of still active robots.txt you can't actually go to The Wayback Machine and plug in ...
https://marshill.com/globalfaq

to see what it looked like prior to October 13, 2014. 

So it seems that at one point Global was restricted and at another point it wasn't.  It might still be confusing. 

But lest folks forget, there was at least some clarification of some stuff connected to Mars Hill Global, it seems, back in 2014:
http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2014/10/w-throckmorton-memo-regarding-mh-global.html

https://marshill.com/2014/06/05/thank-you-mars-hill-global-sincerely-mars-hill-everett
Thank you, Mars Hill Global. Sincerely, Mars Hill Everett.

By: Mars Hill Church
Posted: Jun 05, 2014


Mars Hill Global is made up of 250,000 people around the world who tune in to the Mars Hill Church podcast on a weekly basis. You, our global audience, are praying and giving to Mars Hill Church to see more people meet Jesus, grow in him, and join his mission. One example of what your participation has done over the last year is the planting of Mars Hill Everett in their new home. This letter, from Everett’s lead pastor, Ryan Williams, outlines the specifics of the direct impact you are having on the church.

Thank you, Mars Hill Global.

The last twelve months here at Mars Hill Church Everett have been amazing! Twelve months ago we were setting up in a community college gym; now we worship in our own amazing building. Twelve months ago no one in the city that we minister to knew that we even had a church here; now we have a visible presence in the city we love. Twelve months ago paint fumes filled our Kids Ministry rooms; now the sounds of kids playing and learning about Jesus fill them. Twelve months ago we crammed our leaders into our tiny office space to train and lead them; today we meet in our own building with plenty of room to teach. So much has been happening and it couldn’t have happened without you.

In the last twelve months we have packed up our setup/teardown gear and moved permanently into the city we love! We moved into an awesome building that for more than 90 years was used as an armory for the Washington National Guard. Our auditorium was once filled with soldiers practicing drill; today it is filled with people praising Jesus. We are a predominately blue-collar congregation with great, amazing people. But we are by no means a wealthy church. Our people work super hard and are amazingly generous to the church, but we just did not have the income to fully fund our own down payment and renovation expenses.

There are many beautiful things about being a part of the church of Jesus Christ, but one of the most beautiful things about the church is that we love and serve one another even if we are not in the same local congregation. Paul speaks of this example in Romans 15:26: “For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem.” In this passage we see churches from around the region blessing and serving other churches in need. Mars Hill Global, that is exactly what you did for Mars Hill Everett and we thank you! Your generosity has allowed us to have a visible presence in our city and county. It has given us a building in which to love and care for hurting people and a place to hold services where the gospel will be proclaimed for, God willing, the next few hundred years.

God has blessed your generosity with many amazing stories of redemption. We baptized 28 people at the grand opening of our new building and then we were blessed to baptize 34 people on Easter. Many of these people became believers in our new building through the preaching of the gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit.

The good news of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection is continuing to be proclaimed here in Everett through Mars Hill Church. By God’s grace, many people are experiencing the new life found in Jesus Christ. Thank you for your prayers, love, support, and generosity.
–Pastor Ryan Williams

If all Mars Hill extensions could have been potentially autonomous but intra-MH sites with membership in Acts 29 then this could explain how Mars Hill Global could have been involved in the development of MH campuses in the US even with the "Global" label, couldn't it?  Or perahsp there's some other explaination.

So the recent declarations have clarified that it wasn't always clear and may not be entirely clear to everyone reading things now, for that matter, whether Global was always restricted fund accounting.  It seems that that changed at some point, according to previously reported statements.

2 comments:

brad/futuristguy said...

"So the recent declarations have clarified that it wasn't always clear and may not be entirely clear to everyone reading things now, for that matter, whether Global was always restricted fund accounting. It seems that that changed at some point, according to previously reported statements."

Paragraph 19 in Mr. Turner's "Declarations" document states: "Mars Hill Church published financial statements which were audited by independent CPA firms Clark Nuber PS and CapinCrouse LLP. These audits took place annually for many years, including the years of my employment from 2011-2014. All restricted fund accounting, including Campus Fund and Mars Hill Global, was reviewed by Clark Nuber PS and CapinCrouse LLPin these audits."

Wouldn't the auditors be required to know (and note) all funds that were solicited under restricted designations? And exactly if/when solicitation restrictions change because it would alter the accounting procedures?

Mike said...

I'm trying to figure out the substance of Turner's motion to dismiss. I understand why such a motion would be appropriate for most examples of failure to serve, but what I don't understand is the argument that since Mars Hill's financials were audited, this somehow undoes the legal claims of the plaintiffs so as to warrant dismissal. I've been licensed to practice law for 22 years, and while I'm not well-versed in Washington statutory law, common law or civil procedure, it seems an odd argument. What bearing would the auditing of books have on the validity of RICO predicate offenses such as obstruction of justice and criminal fraud? (I assume these are some of the claims made by the plaintiffs to support a RICO suit) Madoff had audited financials, as did Enron (which resulted in the functional demise of Arthur Andersen); what in the world do audited financials have to do with anything in particular? I understand there is a limited defense available for an organization that relies in good faith upon the misrepresentations of a tax professional vis-a-vis penalties, but that has nothing to do with the case at hand.

Count this lawyer confused.