IKTOK "cult" leader, Robert Shinn is being investigated for tax fraud, and had allegedly "forced followers to work unpaid for God," a trove of documents reveal.
The U.S. Sun can exclusively report that Robert Shinn, who is the leader of the controversial Shekinah Church and owner of 7M Films which manages a wildly popular TikTok dance troupe, is at the center of an IRS probe following a complaint filed against him earlier this year.
The U.S. Sun can also report that Shinn previously lost a major labor lawsuit that was filed by a former follower, Jung Hee Lee, with the California Labor Commission.
Lee alleged she was forced to work 40 hours a week and was paid only a $30 weekly stipend- all in the name of God, according to her testimony, the judgment against Shinn revealed.
The church and 7M were catapulted to nationwide notoriety after Shinn, 63, was accused by the family of TikToker Miranda Derrick, 25, of recruiting her and other influencers with millions of followers.
Shinn has been hit by claims that he is running a "cult" that has recruited top dancers through his 7M Films production and management company and had allegedly brainwashed them, according to Derrick's sister, Melanie Wilking, 23.
In new documents reviewed by The U.S. Sun, the alleged cult leader's financial dealings have now piqued the interest of the Internal Revenue Service over allegations of possible income tax violations.
The pastor, who owns multiple business ventures, is being accused of using church donations to fund his for-profit businesses.
In one potential tax violation against the church founder, it is alleged that Shinn has transferred "monies from what is believed to be a 501 C Corp or a 'church' without declaring income under IRC section 61."
The IRS is in the process of gathering additional information in regard to the allegations, according to documents reviewed by The U.S. Sun.
While Shinn is currently being eyed by the IRS, he's been embroiled in a number of lawsuits throughout the years, and often times the litigation have been filed by his former congregants.
'CULT' LEADER LABOR LAWSUIT LOSS
The U.S. Sun can also exclusively reveal that one of Shinn's former followers who now goes by the name Jung Hee Lee, won a labor lawsuit against the alleged 'cult' leader.
In the suit, which was filed in 2013, Lee stunningly claimed that Shinn had paid her a paltry $30-a-week stipend for an alleged 40 hours a week of work.
The judge wrote in the case which was filed with the California Labor Commission: "At issue, in this case, is plaintiffs' contention that during the period of claim that she was under the control of the defendant, Chief Executive Officer Robert Shinn.
"There is no dispute that Mr. Shin is a pastor. Plaintiff contends that all the people that worked for the defendant were religious followers of Mr. Shinn, they were instructed to work for the defendant and were told the work was being done for God," the judge continued of Lee's claim.
Lee alleged that she found out after she left Shekinah Church that there were payments deposited into her joint account with her then-husband, but that during her time in the church, she testified that neither she nor her husband were allowed to withdraw funds or manage their checking account.
The judge wrote in their decision: "Plaintiff testified that she was provided with a weekly allowance of $30 in cash. She testified that if she accessed the account she'd be reprimanded because it'd be considered as breaking church rules."
In her testimony, Lee submitted an email directed to Shinn which was sent in July of 2010.
In the email, the judge said that: the "plaintiff is affirming that she used a credit card without permission and understood that she was being punished by not being provided with the $30 weekly allowance. She wanted to know how long this would be for and was advised not to contact Hannah Montgomery (Shinn's girlfriend at the time who was allegedly in control of the account)."
"Plaintiff indicated that she discovered checks made payable to Robert Shinn. Plaintiff testified to and presented copies of checks made payable to Robert Shinn. A review of this exhibit reflects that the checks had plaintiff's former husband's name only."
"Plaintiff contends that a review of the bank statements reflects sporadic transactions were made on their joint checking account and that Hannah Montgomery was the one who managed the joint checking account," the judge continued.
In Shinn's testimony, the judge said: "Mr. Shinn confirmed that she did work for him and but he said she only worked five or six hours a day that it was a very casual environment and he admitted there was no timekeeping structure."
In the judgment, the judge noted that in the testimony by the parties it was clear that they were involved in a relationship beyond employee-employer as the plaintiff was a member of Mr. Shinn's church.
He added: "Plaintiff contends that the defendant controlled her living arrangements, managed the joint checking account, controlled the food she ate, etc. Mr. Shinn credibly testified that the plaintiff and her former husband did not make enough to cover their expenses and he was aware of the type of house the plaintiff lived in and the type of vehicle she drove, etc."
In the decision, the judge ruled that it's abundantly apparent that "the defendant has failed to provide employees with a method of timekeeping, as required by law, and is failed to provide employees with complete itemized deduction statements as required by the labor code."
In factoring the amount to be awarded to Lee, the judge took into account the amount she would have been paid per a regular 40-hour-work week.
The total amount awarded to Lee was $9,215.16.
The U.S. Sun previously exclusively reported that Shinn was sued by another former congregant, Lydia Chung.
Chung sued the church and its founder for fraud back in 2009 after she claimed she was taken for nearly $4 million. She lost her case after trial.
The former devotee, who was a member of the Shekinah Church from 1996 until 2008, believes that Robert is teaching present-day members that the "attacks on the church in the news and on social media currently are persecution because they are the only true followers of God.”
She claimed in her exclusive interview with The U.S. Sun that the church preached that “all worldly people are satanic” and that those teachings likely continued into the present-day church and would be applied to the controversy its leadership is now facing.
Shinn and the other defendants reportedly prevailed at the 2009 trial against all of the claims in the lawsuit.
Chung told The U.S. Sun she believes the trial was unjust and she hopes to pursue further legal recourse.
In the lawsuit against Robert Shinn from 2009, Chung claimed he had been described online as a “former medical doctor who successfully practiced medicine for seven years before God spoke to him and brought him into ministry full time”.
Chung alleged - in claims that were reportedly dismissed with prejudice following a trial - that Shinn and others in Shekinah Church had deprived her of at least $3.8 million in property and funds after she joined the church in 2000.
The lawsuit alleged: “Defendants exerted undue influence, mind control, coercive persuasion, oppression and other intimidating tactics in the name of ‘opening up and being honest to God’ to cause plaintiff, Lydia Chung, to reveal and give them control over all of her personal financial information.”
The 2009 case reportedly went to trial and a court ruled in favor of Shinn and the other defendants on all counts alleged in the lawsuit.
TIKTOK STAR FAMILY'S CONCERNS
TikToker Miranda Derrick's family became vocal about their concerns around her involvement in 7M, the management company formed by Shinn's son Isaiah, 25.
Miranda’s sister Melanie and parents Dean and Kelly Wilking tearfully denounced the church for allegedly cutting them off from Miranda in an Instagram Live video last month.
“They are not in control of their lives— someone else is controlling their lives and they're all victims of this,” the Wilkings claimed of 7M’s recruits.
The Wilking family alleges they became estranged from Miranda in January 2021 after she refused to go to her grandfather’s funeral.
They say she later went on to marry her now-husband James Derrick without telling them or inviting them to the wedding.
Melanie, 22, said in the family’s video plea: “We know that’s not her. We haven’t said anything because we always had hope that she’d come back. We didn’t want to embarrass her.”
Melanie claims she also briefly became involved in the church but was not invited to return after she missed just one religious service, which she considered a "red flag".
Asked if they have contacted the authorities, Melanie said: "We can't find anything illegal happening besides complete brainwashing, which you can't really prove.
"So, unfortunately, because they're all adults, there's nothing anyone can do."
She added: "I wake up every day hoping that I'm waking up from this nightmare because it doesn't feel like it should be real."
Shinn and 7M vehemently deny the claims and accuse the Wilkings of turning Miranda's "private family matters into a tawdry public scandal for clicks and clout".
The U.S. Sun reached out to Shinn and the Shekinah Church for comment but received no reply.
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