U.S. Justice Dept. Indicts 3 KJC administrators
LOS ANGELES — On the eve of a scheduled court appearance of 3 Kingdom of Jesus Christ church administrators, prosecutors handed down a federal indictment.
About two weeks after several Kingdom of Jesus Christ U.S. locations were raided by the FBI, the Justice Department handed down a one-count indictment against 59-year-old Guia Cabactulan, 41-year-old Marissa Duenas, and 48-year-old Amanda Estopare, administrators of the Philippine-based, Kingdom of Jesus Christ Church which was founded by Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, who calls himself “The Appointed Son of God”.
They are being charged with conspiracy to commit labor trafficking, domestic servitude and immigration and marriage fraud.
Under the alleged scheme, the three worked with church officials in the Philippines to bring members to the U.S.
Members believed they would come to participate in the church’s music programs, and attend schools.
However, upon arrival their passports would be confiscated, and they would be forced to solicit donations on behalf of Children’s Joy Foundation.
Prosecutors claimed the money collected was used to fund the lavish lifestyles of church leaders in the Philippines.
Church members who did not meet their quotas were allegedly physically and emotionally abused, while the highest earners were forced into sham marriages.
The FBI had begun investigating this case in 2014 when the alleged victims began leaving the church.
They arrested Cabactulan and Duenas in California last month, while Estopare was apprehended in Virginia.
All three were denied bail.
Lawyers for Quiboloy have downplayed the arrests calling it further efforts to discredit the pastor — who has been facing several cases in the US the past two years.
The three defendants including Estopare who was detained in Virginia are scheduled to be arraigned next week.