2 Quiboloy church leaders plead not guilty in fraud, trafficking cases
MANILA, Philippines — Two leaders of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KJC) church, which was founded by Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, entered not guilty pleas in their cases of human trafficking and immigration fraud in their arraignment in Los Angeles, California.
Three leaders of the KJC — Guia Cabactulan, 59; Marissa Dueñas, 41; and Amanda Estopare, 48 — were charged with forced labor trafficking and immigration and marriage fraud.
The indictment said Cabactulan was the KJC’s top official in the United States and Dueñas supposedly handled immigration matters as “human resources leader.”
The said officials were involved in an alleged scam tricking followers into becoming fundraisers and organizing sham marriages to help them stay in the United States.
In a statement, Michael Jay Green, head of KJC’s legal counsel, said Cabactulan and Duenas pleaded not guilty because the charges “were based on lies.”
“We intend to fight the charges that are based on lies and concocted stories. I am confident that the truth will come out and the name of KJC will be vindicated,” Green said.
The legal counsel said: “Witnesses against the administrators have lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other concerned agencies to support their allegations.”
Estopare failed to attend the arraignment because “she was on her way to Los Angeles from Virginia where she was apprehended,” Green said.
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