Agape cult leader Rocco Leo ‘tried to hide $5.6m’ alleges Australian Taxation Office

Fallen religious leader Rocco Leo tried to funnel $5.6 million out of the Agape Ministries empire just before his assets were frozen, a court has heard.

Australian Taxation Office lawyers today outlined “a very crude attempt to hide” millions of dollars received by the controversial group.

They told the District Court that, in May, Leo juggled $5.6 million between his account and those belonging to Agape and his business, Universal Holdings.

The Advertiser understands the ATO will allege that money was destined for an off-shore account.

Leo, his confidantes and their multi-million dollar, two-state empire are embroiled in three lawsuits and a criminal prosecution.
[…]

Leo’s counsel says he will return to Adelaide in January to face court.

Finally, the ATO is seeking a decade of unpaid taxes from Agape, having removed its tax-exempt religion status.


It says Agape, Leo and his friends owe $4 million for 2009/10 alone.

Today Richard Ross-Smith, for the ATO, said Leo had made two inter-Agape transfers in May, soon after the former parishoners filed their lawsuits.
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– Source / Full Story: Agape leader Rocco Leo ‘tried to hide $5.6m’ alleges Australian Taxation Office , Sean Fewster, AdelaideNow, Dec. 3, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog


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This post was last updated: Friday, December 3, 2010 at 7:58 PM, Central European Time (CET)