Agape Ministries cult and cult leader Rocco Leo owe $4m in taxes

Fallen religious leader Rocco Leo and his former church owe more than $4.1 million in unpaid taxes for 2009-10 alone, court documents claim.

In documents filed with the District Court, the Australian Taxation Office calculates Leo’s personal debt for last financial year to be $1.75 million.

Agape Ministries International, the documents claim, owes $1.69 million for the same period while Leo’s confidant, Joseph Veneziano, is said to owe almost $700,000.

Those figures are just the tip of the iceberg for the ATO, which last month stripped Agape of its tax-exempt status as a religion.

Bureaucrats are preparing to pore through 10 years’ worth of seized bank records to determine how many millions Agape must pay.

Opponents of Agape claim it is a cult, and that Leo made his fortune by duping parishioners with stories of government plans to microchip humans and kill those who disagreed in concentration camps.

Leo is being sued by two former parishioners for $1.2 million and $420,000 respectively, who claim they made donations under fraudulent circumstances.

– Source / Full Story: Cult and leader owe $4m: ATO , Sean Fewster, The Advertiser, Nov. 24, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

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This post was last updated: Nov. 24, 2010