Lawsuit claims churches owe state money

A whistle-blower lawsuit has been filed against five churches alleging they owe the state more than $5 million.

The lawsuit claims that three New Hope churches, Calvary Chapel, and One Love Ministries avoided paying rental fees and utility charges for using school facilities.

Over a six-year period, the churches allegedly filed false statements to pay less than what they were supposed to pay.

“The way that they do it is they fill out false application forms that say they’re only using the gym or the cafeteria for a few hours when in fact they’re using it for the entire day or the entire weekend,” plantiff’s attorney James Bickerton said.

The largest claim is worth more than $3 million owed by New Hope Oahu to Farrington High School.

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