Just recently, a Philippine-based church in Los Angeles was raided by Federal agents in a human trafficking investigation. This led to the arrest of church leaders on grounds for human fraud charges. Read more: FBI raids Quiboloy’s church in Los Angeles in human trafficking probe.
Moreover, in a Tweet by Steve Angeles for ABS CBN revealed that three administrators of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ church have been arrested by the FBI on immigration fraud charges – specifically for ‘bringing in people to work as donation solicitors’.
In an ABS CBN article, the arrested members include Guia Cabactulan, a top official of the church who had direct communications with its Philippine counterpart; Marissa Duenas, who allegedly kept passports of victim members and handled immigration documents; and Amanda Estopare, responsible for the fundraising.
“They are forcing these individuals, in some cases, to work all day, solicit funds, for what they are saying for impoverished children in the Philippines. In reality, we believe the money is going to fund the lavish lifestyles of the leaders of this scheme,” states Laura Eimillier, spokesperson of the FBI, in an article by ABS CBN. Read more: FBI arrests 3 Quiboloy church members in US on immigration fraud raps.
It can be recalled that church founder Pastor Apollo Quiboloy has been briefly held by the US customs officials after USD 350,000 and gun parts were founds in his Philippine-bound aircraft.
In an Inquirer article, ‘fundraisers’ who were able to escape the church revealed to authorities that they have been sent across the United States to solicit donations – for the church’s charity, the Children’s Joy Foundation. Moreover, they revealed that they were beaten if they could not make their daily quotas. Moreover, some admitted that they had to live in cars and truck stops.
The FBI also managed to document the 82 ‘sham marriages’ over a 20 year period and tracked USD 20 million raised from 2014 to mid last year that was remitted to the church in the Philippines.
“Most of these funds appear to derive from street-level solicitation. Little to no money solicited appears to benefit impoverished or in-need children,”in an affidavit by FBI Special Agent Anne Wetzel, in an article by Inquirer.
FBI arrested 3 administrators of The Kingdom of Jesus Christ Church on immigration fraud charges. Allegedly bringing in people to work as donation solicitors. They raided several of the Philippine church’s US locations including this compound in Van Nuys. Developing story. pic.twitter.com/zzvowZh54g
— Steve Angeles (@StevieAngeles) January 29, 2020