Results 1 to 6 of 6
Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By Beezer

Thread: FBI raids Los Angeles church to make immigration fraud bust

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    PARADISE (San Diego)
    Posts
    96,236

    FBI raids Los Angeles church to make immigration fraud bust

    FBI raids Los Angeles church to make immigration fraud bust

    By BRIAN MELLEY ASSOCIATED PRESS
    JAN. 29, 2020 8:16 AM

    LOS ANGELES — Federal agents raided a Philippines-based church in Los Angeles early Wednesday in a human trafficking investigation that led to arrests of two church leaders in what prosecutors said was a decades-long scheme to trick followers into becoming fundraisers and arrange sham marriages to keep them in the U.S.

    The local leader of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ church was arrested on immigration fraud charges in the early morning bust along with a worker who confiscated passports of the victims of the scheme, the U.S. attorney’s office said.


    Fundraisers who managed to escape from the church told the FBI that they had been sent across the U.S. to solicit donations for the church’s charity, The Children’s Joy Foundation, and were beaten if they didn’t make daily quotas, according to affidavit filed in support of the charges. Some described having to live in cars at truck stops.


    An FBI agent investigating the case documented 82 sham marriages over a 20-year period and tracked $20 million raised between 2014 and the middle of last year that was sent back to the church in the Philippines.


    “Most of these funds appear to derive from street-level solicitation,” according to the affidavit by FBI Special Agent Anne Wetzel. “Little to no money solicited appears to benefit impoverished or in-need children.”

    In addition to raiding the church’s Van Nuys compound, agents were conducting searches at other Los Angeles locations and at two places in Hawaii linked to the church.


    Calls to the church for comment were not immediately answered.

    https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com...ion-fraud-bust
    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


    Sign in and post comments here.

    Please support our fight against illegal immigration by joining ALIPAC's email alerts here https://eepurl.com/cktGTn

  2. #2
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    17,475
    IT'S ABOUT TIME THEY GO AFTER THESE CHURCHES!!!!

    AND NO MORE HARBORING, AIDING, OR ABETTING ILLEGAL ALIENS IN THESE "CHURCHES".

    THEY ARE NOT ABOVE THE LAW.
    TO BECOME AN AMERICAN YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR VALUES ...NOT YOUR LOCATION

    STAY HOME AND BUILD AMERICA ON YOUR SOIL

  3. #3
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    PARADISE (San Diego)
    Posts
    96,236
    This UPDATE has been added to the bottom of the article above on the SDUT site.

    Two years ago, a leader of a Hawaii branch of the church was arrested smuggling cash onto a private plane in Honolulu bound for the Philippines with Quiboloy on board, according to court records .


    Investigators said Felina Salinas declared she was carrying $40,000 but investigators said they discovered $335,000 and $9,000 in Australian currency stuffed in socks in her carry-on suitcase, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Honolulu. U.S. law requires that travelers declare currency in excess of $10,000.


    Prosecutors said a witness saw Salinas and Quiboloy order church members to smuggle hundreds of thousands of dollars in black socks packed in suitcases from California to the Philippines in 2013 and 2014.


    A defense lawyer questioned the credibility of the witness in the Hawaii case.


    “I have a woman who says she saw $100,000 go from California to the Philippines, then she said it was two or three million,” attorney Michael Green said, according to Hawaii News Now. “She says it was put in socks. They must have parishioners with size 18 feet because the socks must have been really big.”
    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


    Sign in and post comments here.

    Please support our fight against illegal immigration by joining ALIPAC's email alerts here https://eepurl.com/cktGTn

  4. #4
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    PARADISE (San Diego)
    Posts
    96,236
    This article adds a third arrest.
    -----------------------------------

    Arrests at LA church allege marriage, immigration fraud

    Jan 29, 2020

    An FBI evidence response team agent enters a building on the grounds of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ Church in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. The FBI raided a Philippines-based church in Los Angeles to arrest leaders of an alleged immigration fraud scheme that resulted in sham marriages. Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that three leaders of the local branch of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ were arrested in morning raids.




    FBI agents cover a fence on the grounds of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ Church in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. The FBI raided a Philippines-based church in Los Angeles to arrest leaders of an alleged immigration fraud scheme that resulted in sham marriages. Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that three leaders of the local branch of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ were arrested in morning raids.




    A smashed in door is seen at the entrance of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ Church in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020.

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal agents raided a Philippines-based church in Los Angeles Wednesday in a human trafficking investigation that led to arrests of three church leaders in what prosecutors said was a decades-long scheme to trick followers into becoming fundraisers and arrange sham marriages to keep them in the U.S.

    The local leader of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ church was arrested on immigration fraud charges in the early morning bust along with a worker who confiscated passports of the victims of the scheme and another who handled finances, the U.S. attorney's office said.

    Workers who managed to escape from the church told the FBI that they had been sent across the U.S. to work long hours soliciting donations year-round for the church’s charity and were beaten and psychologically abused if they didn't make daily quotas, according to an affidavit filed in support of the charges. Some described having to live in cars at truck stops.

    The immigrants essentially became full-time workers, sometimes referred to as “miracle workers,” in a crusade to raise money for the nonprofit Children’s Joy Foundation USA, which was supposed to benefit poor children in their homeland. But the complaint said most of the money raised was used to finance church operations and the lavish lifestyle of church leader Apollo Quiboloy.

    The church claims a membership of 6 million people and backed the 2016 candidacy of President Rodrigo Duterte, a close friend of Quiboloy. Duterte has used the group’s radio and TV program in southern Davao city to express his views on issues way back when he was mayor of the southern port city.

    Quiboloy claims to be “the appointed son of God” and in October last year claimed he stopped a major earthquake from hitting the southern Philippines.


    Between 2014 and the middle of last year, $20 million was sent back to the church in the Philippines, the FBI said.

    “Most of these funds appear to derive from street-level solicitation,” according to the affidavit by FBI Special Agent Anne Wetzel. “Little to no money solicited appears to benefit impoverished or in-need children.”

    Calls to the church for comment were not immediately answered.

    Guia Cabactulan, 59, the top church official in the U.S., was arrested in Van Nuys with Marissa Duenas, 41, who allegedly handled fraudulent immigration documents, prosecutors said.

    Amanda Estopare, 48, who allegedly enforced fundraising quotas, was arrested in Virginia.



    Cabactulan and Duenas are expected to make initial court appearances Thursday in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles.

    Estopare was ordered held after a hearing in Norfolk, Virginia, and expected back in court Monday.


    Investigators documented 82 sham marriages over a 20-year period between top fundraisers and church members who were U.S. citizens.

    In addition to raiding the church's Van Nuys compound, agents were conducting searches at other Los Angeles-area locations and at two places in Hawaii linked to the church.

    Two years ago, a leader of a Hawaii branch of the church was arrested smuggling cash onto a private plane in Honolulu bound for the Philippines with Quiboloy on board, according to court records.


    Investigators said Felina Salinas declared she was carrying $40,000. But investigators said they discovered $335,000 and $9,000 in Australian currency stuffed in socks in her carry-on suitcase, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Honolulu. U.S. law requires that travelers declare currency in excess of $10,000.


    Prosecutors said a witness saw Salinas and Quiboloy order church members to smuggle hundreds of thousands of dollars in black socks packed in suitcases from California to the Philippines in 2013 and 2014.

    A defense lawyer questioned the credibility of the witness in the Hawaii case.

    “I have a woman who says she saw $100,000 go from California to the Philippines, then she said it was two or three million," attorney Michael Green said, according to Hawaii News Now. “She says it was put in socks. They must have parishioners with size 18 feet because the socks must have been really big.”

    https://journalstar.com/news/national/arrests-at-la-church-allege-marriage-immigration-fraud/article_2574f083-45ed-52bb-8dff-3d1333d978fe.html
    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


    Sign in and post comments here.

    Please support our fight against illegal immigration by joining ALIPAC's email alerts here https://eepurl.com/cktGTn

  5. #5
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    17,475



    Filipino Church Busted In $20 Million Human Smuggling Scheme



    January 30, 2020 by Dave Gibson



    LOS ANGELES, CA (ABC News) – The FBI arrested three administrators of a Filipino-based church Wednesday for allegedly trafficking in its members from Asia as part of a six-year fundraising scam.


    Guia Cabactulan, 59, Marissa Duenas, 41, and Amanda Estopare, 48, who are members of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, the Name Above Every Name (or KOJC), were picked up by agents in California and Virginia following raids of KOJC’s offices in Van Nuys, Glendale and Los Angeles, the FBI said.


    The three allegedly used a children’s foundation as a front to bring in its members from the Philippines and use them to beg for money on the street, the criminal complaint said.


    KOJC was created in 1985 in Davao, Philippines, by Apollo Quiboloy who claims to be “the Appointed Son of God.” It’s website claims there are 6 million members around the world.


    Investigators said as early as October 2013, the church would obtain visas for its members under the pretense that they would be performing in musical events in America, however once those members got to the country, they had their passports taken away and were forced to work as “volunteers,” to raise money. The workers were allegedly sent to various locations across the country and ask for money that they claimed went to aid Filipino children, according to the criminal complaint.


    The money, in reality, went to church operations, and between 2014 and mid-2019, KOJC collected close to $20 million from these donations, the FBI said. Workers were allegedly ordered to meet quotas that changed daily while they were collecting the donations, according to the complaint.


    KOJC administrators allegedly used several illicit tactics to keep workers in the country including sham marriages and phony enrollments in schools, and forced them to live in unsafe living conditions, according to the FBI.




    https://www.illegalaliencrimereport.com/filipino-church-busted-in-20-million-human-smuggling-scheme/

    Judy likes this.
    TO BECOME AN AMERICAN YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR VALUES ...NOT YOUR LOCATION

    STAY HOME AND BUILD AMERICA ON YOUR SOIL

  6. #6
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    PARADISE (San Diego)
    Posts
    96,236
    I.C.E. News Releases
    DOCUMENT AND BENEFIT FRAUD
    02/13/2020


    Grand jury indicts 3 top administrators of Philippine church in scheme to traffic workers and defraud immigration system

    SANTA ANA, Calif. – A federal grand jury has charged three top administrators of a Philippines-based church with overseeing a labor trafficking scheme that forced church members to solicit donations for a bogus charity after the defendants illegally obtained visas and other immigration documents that allowed the workers to enter and remain in the United States.

    The one-count indictment returned by the grand jury late Wednesday alleges a conspiracy to commit a series of offenses --including trafficking with respect to forced labor, document servitude, immigration fraud and marriage fraud.


    The three defendants were arrested last month after being named in a criminal complaint that alleged a conspiracy to commit immigration fraud.

    Today’s indictment expands the scope of the alleged scheme and includes new details about the immigration fraud portion of the scheme.


    The core allegations of the case are that representatives of the church – the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name (KOJC) – obtained visas for church members to enter the U.S. by claiming, for example, they would be performing at musical events. But once the church members arrived in the United States, they were required to surrender their passports and work long hours as “FTWs” (full-time workers), who solicited donations for a church non-profit called the Children’s Joy Foundation USA (CJF). While the workers raised funds by telling donors their money would benefit impoverished children in the Philippines, the indictment alleges that most or all of the money raised was used to finance KOJC operations and the lavish lifestyles of church leaders.


    The ongoing investigation into KOJC is being conducted by the FBI, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s Fraud Detection and National Security Unit, the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, and IRS Criminal Investigation.


    While some KOJC workers knew they were entering the U.S. to be fundraisers, the indictment alleges “other KOJC workers were unaware of the actual purpose until they were forced…to solicit on the streets nearly every day, year-round, working very long hours, and often sleeping in cars overnight, without normal access to over-the-counter medicine or even clothes.”


    The defendants confiscated the victims’ passports and other immigration documents “to prevent and restrict…KOJC workers’ liberty to move and travel in order to maintain the labor and services of KOJC workers, some of whom were and had been a victim of a severe form of trafficking,” according to the indictment.


    The three defendants charged in the indictment are:


    • Guia Cabactulan, 59, the lead KOJC administrator in the United States who maintained direct communication with KOJC leadership in the Philippines;
    • Marissa Duenas, 41, who allegedly secured the passports immediately after workers entered the U.S. and handled fraudulent immigration documents for KOJC workers; and
    • Amanda Estopare, 48, who allegedly was in charge of tracking and reporting the money raised in the U.S. to KOJC officials in the Philippines.


    All three defendants – who were arrested on January 29 and remain in federal custody – are scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment February 20 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.


    As part of the long-running scheme, the three defendants kept productive workers in the U.S. by obtaining student visas or by arranging sham marriages with KOJC workers who were U.S. citizens, the indictment alleges. To create the illusion of legitimate marriages, Duenas allegedly possessed ATM cards to show immigration officials that workers in the sham marriages had joint bank accounts. Furthermore, Cabactulan and Duenas possessed wedding rings for KOJC workers to use during their fraudulent marriage ceremonies.

    Immigration records summarized in the criminal complaint indicate there were 82 marriages involving KOJC administrators and FTWs over the past two decades.


    When authorities searched the KOJC compound in Van Nuys on January 29, Cabactulan and Duenas possessed approximately 72 Filipino passports, seven United States passports, and one Ukrainian passport that belonged to other people, according to the indictment, which also notes that Duenas possessed four male wedding rings and three female wedding rings in an office at the KOJC compound.


    The search also revealed that Duenas possessed a file titled “Traitor” that contained information on KOJC members who fled the church, the indictment alleges.


    The conspiracy charge alleged in the indictment carries a statutory maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.


    As part of the ongoing investigation, law enforcement is encouraging potential victims or anyone with information about KOJC activities to contact investigators. Those with information are asked to reach out to the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office at (310) 477-6565 or fbi.gov/tips.


    This matter is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.


    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


    Sign in and post comments here.

    Please support our fight against illegal immigration by joining ALIPAC's email alerts here https://eepurl.com/cktGTn

Similar Threads

  1. Could dramatic immigration workplace raids make a comeback under Trump?
    By lorrie in forum illegal immigration News Stories & Reports
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-08-2017, 11:21 PM
  2. DHS Discovers Major Immigration Fraud in Los Angeles
    By Newmexican in forum illegal immigration News Stories & Reports
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-15-2015, 03:29 AM
  3. PA: Officials Bust Bucks Co. Immigration Fraud Ring
    By zeezil in forum illegal immigration News Stories & Reports
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-30-2008, 12:56 PM
  4. AZ: Officers make immigration bust on I-10
    By Jean in forum illegal immigration News Stories & Reports
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-14-2007, 07:31 PM
  5. TN: Police Make Possible Illegal Immigration Bust
    By had_enuf in forum illegal immigration News Stories & Reports
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-13-2007, 11:05 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •