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FL Family May Have Stolen $8M in COVID-19 Aid, Remains Free

A Florida pastor, Evan Edwards, and his family allegedly stole $8 million worth of taxpayer money in a COVID-19 relief scam, NBC News reports. Edwards falsely claimed that their ministry, ALSAN International Ministry, had over 450 employees. However, the only employees were the Edwards family: Evan, his wife Jane and their two adult children, Joy and Josh. The paperwork was signed by accountant Walter Gnida. However, Gnida, 88, was suffering from dementia and hadn’t worked with the Edwardes since 2017. This information is raising questions as to why the family wasn’t charged and why red flags were not spotted sooner. The family lived a lavish lifestyle, living in a gated community in New Smyrna Beach, Fl.. They moved from Edmonton, Canada, Evan Edwards's hometown. The family previously lived in Turkey. Edwards said he was harassed by Turkish police and arrested over 50 times.


In 2020, when the investigation began, officials came to the Edwards home but found it empty. The family was found speeding in a Mercedes on I-75 in northern Florida. Evan Edwards told police that the family was going to a conference. However, in the car was a paper shredder, trash bags filled with shredded documents and a bag filled with the family’s electronic devices. The family was taken into custody for an immigration charge, but this charge was dismissed and family members remain free. The family still lives in their Florida home and is still using ASLAN to spread their beliefs. The Secret Service says the investigation is ongoing.


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