Church Leader Charged for Trafficking Parishioners -

Church Leader Charged for Trafficking Parishioners

  • Published on
    February 20, 2019
  • News Source Image
  • Category:
    Forced Labor
Hero Banner

The founder of a Pennsylvania ministry has been convicted by a federal jury in Chicago on single counts of wire fraud and labor trafficking.

Tracie Dickey, 55, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was found guilty for forcing young female parishioners to work multiple jobs while pocketing their wages. She also instructed them to defraud hotels for over a decade, racking up profits in the process.

Prosecutors said Dickey — also known as Tracie Williams — served as the self-appointed bishop of Deliverance Tabernacle Ministries, a religious organization she founded to provide faith-based services in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida.

She also ran a sham travel agency called World Ambassador Travel

NBC News reports:

Over the course of her trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Dickey recruited young women to the ministry and urged them to work multiple jobs, namely as desk clerks at hotels.

Dickey instructed the women to have the hotels pay reservation-commission fees to her purported travel agency through a bank account she controlled.

In total, hotels paid Dickey roughly $86,000 in commissions between 2005 and 2013, prosecutors said. However, World Ambassador Travel never actually booked reservations for hotel guests.

All the while, Dickey emotionally and physically abused the members she enlisted to aid in the scheme, coercing them to follow her rules and pocketing roughly $333,000 they earned, prosecutors said.

Alarmingly, Dickey starved and humiliated church members who didn’t obey her orders, threatening that God would hurt their families for not following her rules.

This lead some church members to become homeless, said prosecutors and several victims who testified during the trial.

Dickey’s sentencing is due on August 7. She faces up to 40 years in prison.

Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This week

Migrant teens not living the American dream, they’re “living the American nightmare”

An investigative journalism piece from PBS recently uncovered evidence that migrant teens arriving at the U.S. border are being exploited by hiring agencies in the seafood processing sector as a source of cheap labor.   Businesses think child labor = cheap labor  The Public's Radio interviewed more than two dozen migrant teens who described working overnight shifts, killing, cleaning, and weighing crabs. The teens reported they got to sleep for a few

| Monday September 18, 2023

Read more