Woman convicted of coercing church members into forced labor

Published 02-21-2019

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CHICAGO (AP) - An alleged self-appointed bishop of a Pennsylvania-based ministry has been found guilty by a federal jury in Chicago of collecting church members' wages and bogus travel-agent fees.

The U.S. Attorney's Office announced Tracie Dickey, also known as Tracie Williams, of Pittsburgh was found guilty Friday of one count of wire fraud and one count of labor trafficking.

According to prosecutors, Dickey recruited young women to become members of Deliverance Tabernacle Ministries International. She directed them to work multiple jobs, including as desk clerks at hotels.

Prosecutors say Dickey instructed members on how to have the hotels pay reservation-commission fees to Dickey's travel agency, which never actually booked hotel reservations on behalf of guests. From 2005 to 2013, the hotels paid approximately $86,000 in commissions to Dickey, who also collected $333,000 in wages earned by the members.

U.S. District Judge Sara L. Ellis set Dickey's sentencing for Aug. 7.

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