Judge sa US nag order na ikulong ang lahat ng membro ng simbahan ni Quiboloy sa California


A US has ordered the detention of 2 leaders of Pastor Apollo Quiboloy's Kingdom of Jesus Christ who are dealing with charges for alleged conspiracy to commit immigration fraud.

US Magistrate Judge Autumn D Spaeth ordered the detention of Guia Cabactulan and Marissa Duenas upon the request of authorities prosecutors who stated they pose a flight risk.

Cabactulan, 59, was before described as a "top official" of Quiboloy's church who had direct communications with its Philippines' leadership; while Duenas, 41, allegedly handled immigration documents and kept passports of victims of an alleged human trafficking ring.

The two were arrested in a raid at the Van Nuys, California compound of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ church.

A 0.33 church administrator, Amanda Estopare, 48, who dealt with "financial aspects" and fundraising of the church, used to be additionally arrested
in Virginia.

Lawyers for Cabactulan and Duenas unsuccessfully argued that health problems and lack of crook records would stop them from fleeing.

Federal prosecutors said the three leaders — Cabactulan, Duenas, and Estopare — brought church participants to the United States beneath false pretenses, regularly telling them that they were invited to be specific visitors at a concert supporting the church’s ministry.

But once the church participants arrived in the United States, their passports had been without delay taken away by means of the three church administrators, who then compelled them to accumulate donations for the Children’s Joy Foundation, a nonprofit run by means of the church that claims to assist impoverished young people in the Philippines, in accordance to a crook complaint.

The church raised about $20 million from 2014 via mid-2019, but most of the money went back into the church’s coffers and to pay for luxury goods for church leaders that covered a Bentley, a bulletproof Cadillac Escalade, an Armani suit and real estate, the criticism said. The church also owns a mansion in Calabasas, California.

The people obtained little to no pay and had been required to meet steep fundraising quotas. Top performers, recognized as “assets,” have been then compelled into sham marriages with other church members, or made to attain pupil visas so they could continue to be in the country, prosecutors said. Investigators stated church leaders had organized 82 such marriages in the past 20 years.

Those who failed to meet quotas confronted punishments that included paddling or being forced to spend three to 5 days in isolation in a walled area of the compound while being denied food and listening to prerecorded sermons by means of church leaders, according to the complaint.

One victim advised investigators that church leaders “shaved her head and made her wear an orange shirt with ‘SOS’ on the back, which stood for ‘Son of Satan,’ ” Anne M. Wetzel, the FBI extraordinary agent in cost of the investigation, wrote in the crook complaint.

The investigation was continuing, and the authorities were focusing on different people associated with the church, a spokesman for federal prosecutors in California said.

All three church leaders who were arrested had been charged with conspiracy to commit immigration fraud, which consists of a penalty of up to 5 years in prison, federal prosecutors said.

Estopare was arrested in Virginia, the place she temporarily seemed in federal courtroom in Norfolk on Wednesday. She was once appointed a public defender, Suzanne Katchmar, who declined to comment. Estopare remains in custody and is due lower back in court docket Monday

Church e mail debts for Duenas and Estopare, who the Justice Department said are U.S. citizens, have been deactivated.

Cabactulan is a Philippine countrywide and lawful permanent resident of the United States, in accordance to the Justice Department.

A lawyer of Pastor Quiboloy beforehand stated the arrest of the 3 church members in the United States is section of a "grand conspiracy" intended to disgrace the church leader.

Former individuals of the spiritual team who allegedly have an "ax to grind" with Quiboloy have supposedly conspired to file a grievance against the Davao-based spiritual leader, his lawyer Israelito Torreon said.

"They are into this grand conspiracy in order to put into shame Pastor Apollo Quiboloy and the Kingdom of Jesus Christ," Torreon said in a press briefing.

"We will face these charges and we watch for our day in court. And we will show to the world that Pastor Apollo Quiboloy is innocent of these charges," he added.

Source: abs-cbn

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