(UnitedVoice.com) – A California church is in hot water after the FBI raided it for allegedly defrauding the US government.
Federal authorities raided the Kingdom of Jesus Christ church in Los Angeles this week. The Philippines-based church’s leader and a worker who stole the passports of the church’s victims were arrested when the FBI entered the building.
According to agents, the church arranged more than 80 fake marriages over 20 years. Victims of the church’s abuse said that they were forced to travel across the US and beg for donations for their charity, The Children’s Joy Foundation. If they did not earn a set amount of money, they were beaten.
They raised $20 million between 2014 and mid-2019. FBI Special Agent Anne Wetzel wrote in an affidavit that almost none of the money raised actually benefited people in need, including children.
Even with a renewed emphasis on catching those individuals that cheated the system to obtain citizenship, marriage fraud continues to be a problem in the US. In 2019, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced 96 indictments related to a massive fraud ring in Texas.
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