NEWARK — Two members of a black nationalist group, including a South Jersey man believed to be the group's leader, have been arrested and charged with defrauding the government out of more than $1.98 million in taxes.

Jermaine Grant, 43, of Burlington Township, is the head of the Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. He was arrested along with 48-year-old Lincoln Warrington, of Teaneck, on charges of conspiring to defraud the United States. Grant is also charged with five counts of personal tax evasion, according to U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.

The charges stem from a company the two men formed called Black Icon Entertainment, and using it as a shell company to pad Grant's wallet, according to Carpenito. The two men are accused of taking more than $2 million of the church's funds and funneling it to the company without reporting it as income. Grant is also accused of taking more than $2 million from the church "through multiple personal expenditures," which they also failed to report in tax returns," Carpenito said

Among the items Grant paid for with a debit card for the church were home furnishings, designer clothes, nice cars, and trips to Disneyland, according to the U.S. attorney. He also used the money to pay for private schools for his children as well as a chauffeur to drive them to school, according to Carpenito. All this happened between 2007 and 2015.

The Southern Poverty Law Center said Grant is also known by his "Hebrew" name of Tazadaqyah, and is also called the group's "Chief High Priest" or the Holy Spirit made flesh. The group is described as "a black separatist sect" that is "obsessed with hatred for whites and Jews," and has at least 29 branches headquartered in New York. Grant, according to the SPLC, has been the group's leader since 2000.

In 2015 police were called to the Marriott at Glenpoint in Teaneck after receiving reports of a meeting of the group, according to a report on NJ.com.

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