The Mexican Catholic religious order Legionaries of Christ (LOC) created financial trusts that are currently holding $300 million in assets following a sex scandal and a 2010 Vatican announcement it would seize the order’s assets, reports the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
Three financial trusts with ties to the LOC were created in New Zealand. Their existence was discovered in a leak of financial records which has been named the Pandora Papers. The trusts invested in residential real estate.
“In statements to ICIJ, the Legion acknowledged it had set up one of the three trusts, but distanced itself from the other two, which held the majority of the funds designated for the Legion.”
When the ICIJ asked the LOC about disclosure of its assets, the ICIJ was told the “religious institutes do not have an obligation to send detailed information to the Vatican regarding their internal financial decisions or organization.”
Four of Universal Church of the Kingdom of God’s leaders have been indicted in Angola, Africa, for money laundering.
The Brazil-based church is exporting the prosperity gospel into Africa much like America’s televangelists.
Church founder Edir Macedo is the owner of Brazilian TV Network RecordTV and a bank. Macedo is copying the lifestyle of America’s most notorious televangelists by owning his own fleet of jets and a helicopter.
Revista Forum reported, “Macedo’s right-hand man and former artistic vice president of Rede Record, Bishop Honorilton Gonçalves da Costa, was indicted” along with “Angolan Bishop Antonio Pedro Correia da Silva, former president of the church in the country, and pastors Valdir de Sousa dos Santos and Fernando Henriques Teixeira.”
In 2020, Rio de Janeiro’s Public Prosecutor’s Office and Brazil’s Financial Activities Control Board accused church leaders of laundering $1 billion – i.e. using fake companies to pass funds through different accounts abroad and then returning them in the form of loans.
In 2008, Edir Macedo was arrested but not convicted of embezzling $2 billion which was allegedly laundered.
Hey YOU, If you are one of the close to 125,000 people who PAID for the “Christian Prayer Center” to pray for you between 2011 and 2015, PLEASE READ ON. This fraudulent organization has been directed by the Washington State attorney general to give you your money back! However, you have less than 3 months to apply to get your money back.
The trusted magazine, Christianity Today, reported that their whole website and Facebook page was a big fat FAKE, it was a LIE… The sites creator, Benjamon Rogovy pocketed over $7 million dollars. Rogovy also targeted the entire Spanish Speaking world as well with his pay for prayer scam website, Oracion Cristiana.
The testimonials of healings were fake. The impression that they had several pastors on staff to pray for you was a lie. They had none. Please read the Christianity Today article here.
On February 21st, 2014, Pastor Yonggi Cho was convicted of embezzling over $12M from his large Korean mega-church over a period of years. Now, the Korean authorities are set to audit the world’s largest church, the Yoido Full Gospel Church, based on suspicion that over $60 million dollars were embezzled by Pastor Cho and his associates. General account funds and money given for overseas missions were diverted as severance pay without approval from the church. Read more about this from the Korea Times, here.
When Cho was convicted 2 and 1/2 year ago, journalist Lee Grady offered these important suggestions for church members and church leadership:
1. Never build a cult of personality.2. Develop a culture of openness.3. Insist on financial transparency.4. Don’t build a family dynasty.5. Beware of creating a greed monster.6. Never tolerate a spirit of entitlement.”