A woman who reportedly moved from Oklahoma to Idaho to start a Bible college was tracked down and arrested on Tulsa County embezzlement charges this week, according to KTVB in Boise.
Tulsa County court documents claim Melody Hope Miles, 45, and her husband, Kenneth Larry Miles, 46, took money toward remodeling and home repairs but never completed the work.
According to an affidavit filed in Tulsa County and obtained by News On 6, the Mileses "have a patterned, established history of obtaining funds or financial credit and not fulfilling their contractual obligations."
Charges were filed against the couple in April.
Documents cite the "defiance of standing court judgments against them; and their willful refusal to make restitution" and that Ken and Melody Miles only made restitution when they were faced with incarceration.
The Mileses, who are listed in 2013 court documents as Bixby and Owasso residents, claim to be ministers and have been hosting "healing meetings" at various churches in Idaho this week, KTVB reports.
KTVB says police officers waited for Melody Miles at a church in Caldwell, Idaho, where she was speaking at a meeting. She was arrested outside the church. Ken Miles was arrested on related charges in May, Tulsa County court records show.
Four families told an Owasso detective that, in separate incidents taking place February 2008 to October 2010, the Mileses accepted money toward work that was to be done on their homes. According to the families, the Mileses accepted more than $10,000 all together.
Two of the families are from Tulsa, one is from Collinsville and the other is from Owasso. Judgment has been awarded to two of the families, but neither of them have received restitution from the Mileses, documents say.
Among the allegations:
The Mileses did business in Green Country under the names Barrington Design & Remodel Inc., Devine Redesign, Devine Kitchen Designs and Devine Designs, the affidavit says.
According to the Miles Global Ministries website, the group's address is still listed as Tulsa. The couple's biographies on the website say Ken Miles graduated "Bible School" in 1997 and Melody Miles attended "Bible School" in 1987, although it doesn't offer the name of the school(s). There was no additional information given about the couple's credentials.
The website also solicits funding for a project the ministry claims it is currently working on in Costa Rica.
The plan is to "get the people saved, and set free. Then help them rehabilitate back into life," the website says. "The finished project is to include a Church building which will seat 500 people and a multipurpose building including offices, class rooms, kitchen, cafeteria, recreational area, a laundry facility, and a basketball court all in the center of the property."
In addition, Miles Global Ministries is planning to build men's and women's drug rehabilitation centers, an orphanage, a battered women's ministry and a center for the homeless elderly, in Costa Rica, the website says. The cost to complete pre-construction work, according to the ministry, is $30,000 for electricity and $2,500 per well. The website also says the ministry needs to build two bunk houses for the men working on the land, along with needing funds for a vehicle, a tractor and monthly expenses for the men.
The ministry's Facebook page indicates it recently hosted a "Heaven on Earth Encounter" on Aug. 10 at the Fairfield Inn and Suites near 91st Street and U.S. Highway 169.
In response to her arrest in Idaho, Melody Miles posted a statement on the Miles Global Ministries Facebook page Saturday afternoon.
She said she and her husband wanted to make a public response, but they were consulting with their attorney first "just to make sure the wording cannot be used against us somehow."
"I have been advised by a few to remain silent," Melody Miles wrote. "I can see where there is wisdom in that, but the problem with my situation is that there is a small fraction of truth in what is being said which easily makes the whole thing believable, which is getting peoples eyes off of the message and onto me. I do not mind explaining and giving my side of the story and then letting others judge the truth by the Spirit of God so that they can get their eyes off of me and back onto God and the life changing message He has told me to share."
The couple already has had a few run-ins with the law.
In 1991, Melody Miles (née Frye) was charged with obtaining merchandise by bogus check, but it was dismissed after restitution was paid. In 2007, she was charged with obtaining benefit by bogus check, and it was dismissed after restitution was met. In 2009, a warrant was issued for her arrest for writing a bogus check, but the case is still pending.
In 2008, Ken Miles was charged with false pretense over $500 in a con game and writing a bogus check over $500 in Tulsa County. He was convicted in both cases and is currently serving a deferred sentence in Oklahoma until 2014. He was ordered to pay restitution at $110 a month until $7,889.09 was paid in full. He was charged again with writing a bogus check over $500 in 2011. That case is still ongoing.
Melody Miles answered a message requesting comment Saturday evening. She declined to speak with News On 6 about the allegations at this time.
"I can not share my side of the story until I have cleared it with my attorney," she wrote. "We do not need the media tearing us apart anymore than we have already been."