Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email

September 22, 2012
Ryan Freeland photo

In this March 3, 2010 photo, the Rev. Carl Keyes speaks to an audience in Harrisonburg, Va., about his life experiences relating to his organization, Aid for the World. Before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Keyes was a little-known pastor of a small New York City congregation searching for members and money. When the twin towers fell, his fortunes changed. Donors poured $2.5 million into the minister�s charity to help 9/11 victims. More opportunities to raise relief money would come later, with at least another $2.3 million collected for efforts along the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast, in the poorest corners of West Virginia and Tennessee, and even in remote African villages. Tens of millions more flowed through his fingers from the sale of church properties. But Keyes, a one-time construction worker, did more than help the needy with the millions donated - he helped himself. According to financial records, internal correspondence and interviews with former employees conducted by The Associated Press, Keyes blurred the lines between his charities, his ministry and his personal finances while promoting himself as an international humanitarian.

Anonymous photo

In this December 2007 photo obtained by The Associated Press, the Rev. Carl Keyes stands for a photo with impoverished people of the Batwa Tribe in Burundi during a delivery of relief supplies to the area. Keyes accompanied an established aid group to look into program possibilities, and after this trip, he created Aid for the World.

New York Stock Exchange photo

In this Jan. 21, 2009 photo provided by the New York Stock Exchange, the Rev. Carl Keyes, founder of Aid for the World, rings the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. Keyes ran Aid for the World, which boasted of operating anti-poverty programs in the U.S. and on several continents, for more than three years without disclosing its finances as required.

Tom Lennihan photo

This combination of photos shows the Glad Tidings Tabernacle church on West 33rd Street in New York, on March 18, 2005, left, and a hotel being built at the site on May 24, 2012. When the dwindling congregation at Glad Tidings Tabernacle sold its big, crumbling Manhattan home in 2007, church leaders spent some of the $31 million on the Rev. Carl Keyes and a few of his supporters, according to real estate and other financial records.

Internet photo

This image made from the Rev. Carl Keyes’ promotional website www.revcarlkeyes.org on July 3, 2012 shows a page which includes a photo of him with Colin Powell at a 2009 fundraiser, top, and a video of Keyes in Burundi, bottom. According to financial records, internal correspondence and interviews with former employees conducted by The Associated Press, Keyes blurred the lines between his charities, his ministry and his personal finances while promoting himself as an international humanitarian.

Ryan Freeland photo

In this March 3, 2010 photo, the Rev. Carl Keyes speaks to an audience in Harrisonburg, Va., about his life experiences relating to his organization, Aid for the World. According to financial records, internal correspondence and interviews with former employees conducted by The Associated Press, Keyes blurred the lines between his charities, his ministry and his personal finances while promoting himself as an international humanitarian.