Arizona Republic Unveils Year-Long Investigation of Corrupt Charities

We'd been wondering why Robert Anglen's byline has been scarce. Turns out the award-winning Arizona Republic reporter has been toiling away -- with editor David Fritze and "data reporter" Ryan Konig -- on a one-year investigation of corrupt charities and how they hide money for the nefarious purposes of their organizers.

The findings of this massive journalistic endeavor?

A televangelist with a questionable history might be a flim-flam artist. The Republic says that 22 charities tied to local "apostle" Don Stewart spent most of the millions of dollars of cash they received from contributors on their own salaries and expenses.

The paper is into Day Two of the series, which started on Sunday. Today's installment could be entitled "Is Don Stewart a Greedy Blasphemer?" It appears that Days Three and Four will reveal more legal loopholes that could allow charities of all types to take advantage, as the Stewart charities apparently have.

It's a heck of a project, don't get us wrong. But the only surprise factor is that so many gullible Bible thumpers send money to televangelists.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.