Two Los Angeles women were arrested Thursday in the investigation of a Philippines-based church whose founder faces charges of orchestrating a sex trafficking operation that coerced girls and young women to have sex with the church leader under threats of “eternal damnation.”

Bettina Padilla “Kuki” Roces, 48, a church administrator who allegedly handled financial matters, and Maria De Leon, 72, the owner of a legal document service, who allegedly processed fraudulent marriages and immigration-related documents for church workers, were arrested at their homes in, respectively, Reseda and Koreatown, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The pair were named in an updated indictment that expands on allegations made last year against three Los Angeles-based administrators of the church, which is known as the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name.

Roces, De Leon and seven other defendants named in the revised indictment are charged with participating in a labor trafficking scheme that brought church members to the United States via fraudulently obtained visas and forced them to solicit donations for a bogus charity, according to federal prosecutors.

Donations to the charity were allegedly used to finance church operations and the lavish lifestyles of its leaders. Members who proved successful at soliciting for the KOJC allegedly were forced to enter into sham marriages or obtain fraudulent student visas to continue soliciting in the United States year-round, court documents show.

The superseding indictment, which was returned by a federal grand jury in Santa Ana on Nov. 10, expands the scope of the 2020 indictment by adding six new defendants, including the KOJC’s leader, Apollo Carreon Quiboloy, who was referred to as “The Appointed Son of God.”

Quiboloy, believed to be 71, whose primary residence is a KOJC compound in Davao City, Philippines, but who also maintained large residences in Calabasas and elsewhere, is thought to be in the Philippines, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.