A Chattanooga financial advisor who specializes in working with religious groups said he admonished Phil Driscoll on use of ministry funds.
Michael Chitwood testified Monday in Federal Court, "I told him not to use any ministry funds for private use, or if he did to declare it."
The Grammy Award winning-Driscoll, whose Cleveland, Tn.-based ministry took in $2,890,687 in 1998 and $2,680,126 in 1999, is standing trial along with his wife, Lynne, on charges of income tax evasion.
Mr. Chitwood said he worked with the Driscolls in the period 1983-1985 when the ministry was just getting going and again in 1996 and 1997.
He said he found that Phil Driscoll had some 15 bank accounts. He said, "It made it very difficult for us to trace the funds. It would go from here to here to here and it might take six months before we could find it."
He said he recommended going to just a few bank accounts, but "he didn't particularly like that suggestion."
Mr. Chitwood said he told the Driscolls they could not take a car allowance because "his ministry involved getting on a plane, going to another city and blowing his horn. It did not involve driving around the Cleveland area."
He said he also told the Driscolls the ministry could not pay for more than one house.
It was testified earlier that ministry funds went toward a lake house on Parksville Lake for the Driscolls as well as paying for other expenses, including drug bills and the $8,756 funeral for Ruth Driscoll, the mother of Phil Driscoll.
Edwin Covington said Phil Driscoll asked him about buying his lake home, which was bigger than the one the Driscolls had nearby. Mr. Covington said he and his wife kept their cabin 23 years, but called the Driscolls when they finally decided to sell.
He said the sale was made for $225,000. He said the monthly checks for $4,780.60 came from the Driscoll ministry.
Mr. Covington said Phil Driscoll asked him if he would contribute a portion of the money owed to the ministry, but he said he declined and the ministry paid off all the debt.
A contractor said he built a dock and seawall for the Driscolls at Parksville Lake and was paid out of ministry funds.
Witnesses said the ministry was run out of the Driscoll home with only family members involved in the management. Mrs. Driscoll's mother, Chris Blankenship, was the bookkeeper in recent years. She was also charged, but she died just before the trial.
The trial started April 24, but a number of breaks have been taken. The jury is not sequestered.