Angel Food Ministries closed its doors in September 2011 after the arrest of the nonprofit's founder, Wesley Joseph Wingo, who later pleaded guilty to illegally using the organization for his own financial gain. At its peak in 2008, Angel Foods Ministries fed 500,000 families in 45 states each month.
Both Wingo and his son, Andrew Wingo, received seven-year prison sentences after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. The elder Wingo's wife, Linda, received five years probation after she pleaded guilty to one count of misprision of a felony, the legal term for being aware of a crime and not reporting it to the authorities. In addition, the family was required to pay back $3.9 million in unlawful earnings.
Founded in 1994, Angel Food Ministries operated by purchasing food from distributors and then repackaging it for the needy, charging $30 per box. Because the organization relied almost exclusively on volunteer labor, revenues greatly exceeded expenses. The Wingos used these excess funds on luxuries such as gambling trips and private jets.