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.
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Leo is being sued by two former parishioners for $1.2 million and $420,000 respectively, who claim they made donations under fraudulent circumstances.
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– 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: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 2:31 PM, Central European Time (CET)