The District Court yesterday heard details of Martin Penney’s claim against the doomsday cult and its fugitive leader, Rocco Leo.
The Adelaide businessman – who accompanied Leo to the Philippines in 2007 – claims he spent $250,000 of his own money on “daily incidentals” for the cult, including toilet paper.
He further asserts he bought the cult a $42,000 Ford Fairlane and donated $217,000 in cash during his time as a member.
In all, Mr Penney claims Leo’s stories of poisoned microchips, government beheadings and South Pacific island refuges duped him into parting with $876,000.
Former follower Sylvia Melchiorre is seeking $420,000, while the Australian Taxation Office wants $4.1 million after stripping the cult of its tax-exempt status as a religion.
In May 2010 Australian police raided Agape Ministries property, seizing 15 illegal firearms, extendable batons and numerous rounds of ammunition.
Former members and opponents of Agape Ministries say it is a cult led by Pastor Rocco “Brother Roc” Leo.
They claim Leo has defrauded millions from his followers, who believe life on Earth will end after microchips are implanted into everyone by the end of 2012.