Gospel for Asia really doesn’t want to enter discovery in their defense against allegations of corrupt financial practices and fraud.
Last week, after the Western Arkansas District Court rejected GFA’s request for a stay (pause in the case) while GFA’s appeal is being heard, GFA promptly appealed that denial yesterday.
In the appeal, GFA “respectfully request[s] a stay under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 8 pending the outcome of this appeal.” GFA wants the case stalled while the mission organization appeals the District Courts refusal to compel the plaintiffs, Matthew and Jennifer Dickson, to enter arbitration instead of continue with the RICO suit. The Dickson were members of GFA and signed an arbitration agreement while they were involved with GFA. However, as donors and now as non-employees, the Dicksons want their claims heard in court. Furthermore, the Dicksons represent a class of donors who allegedly have been defrauded by GFA’s deceptive financial practices. Thus far, the federal court has sided with the Dicksons.
In the space of several months, GFA went from being a charter member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and a full participant in the federal government’s Combined Federal Campaign fund drive to being evicted from ECFA and kicked out of the federal program. According to those who have been questioned by federal investigators, GFA is also under investigation for possible illegal practices as well.