After the FBI raid, Quiboloy still received COVID money from the US government


RICH BY THE FBI IN 2020 Apollo Quiboloy’s Kingdom of Jesus Christ, the church of the name above every name in Los Angeles, California —DANNY PETILLA

LOS ANGELES — Is the self-describing “designated son of God” just another mortal seeking mammon?

Apollo Quiboloy, spiritual advisor to President Duterte recently indicted in the United States on human trafficking and other charges, received two checks, the first for $ 48,300 released on June 29, 2020 and the second for $ 48,727 released on March 12, according to the US Treasury Department. data collected by FederalPay.org, a non-governmental organization that tracks the flow of federal dollars.

The money was part of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to ease economic hardship for struggling businesses and churches in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic .

But even after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided his church in Los Angeles on January 20, 2020, during a human trafficking investigation, Quiboloy, as executive pastor of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) , the name above each name, still benefited from pandemic loans.

Trump’s political base

Quiboloy and eight of his close KOJC associates were indicted last month in the United States for violating federal law through human trafficking, money laundering and immigration fraud.

He received his first check when Donald Trump was still president and the second when Joe Biden took control of the White House.

In Trump’s bid for re-election in June 2020, he released a huge chunk of the repayable PPP loans to many evangelical churches in the United States, a key core of his political base.

When asked why wealthy, Philippines-based Quiboloy managed to secure PPP loans despite his church’s alleged involvement in immigration fraud, money laundering and human trafficking Thom Mrozek, spokesperson for the US Department of Justice’s office in Los Angeles, did not speak.

“As the Department of Justice does not oversee any of the pandemic relief programs, I will have no comment,” Mrozek told this writer Thursday afternoon (Friday in Manila).

utah based bank

But since May 17, United States Attorney General Merrick Garland has cracked down on churches and other recipients who abuse the loan as part of his agency’s campaign against pandemic fraud.

Zions Bank, the Utah-based lending institution that primarily serves members of the Mormon Church in the United States, has been identified in U.S. Treasury Department records as the lender to Quiboloy.

“This loan has been disbursed by the lender and has not yet been fully repaid or canceled,” the SBA said of Quiboloy’s loan in March.

His first loan in June 2020 was reportedly “fully paid or canceled,” but no data was available from the SBA if he had passed his audit.

This writer called the KOJC office at 14424 Vanowen Street in Van Nuys, Calif., For comment, but the woman who answered the phone said she was not speaking to the press.

“It’s crazy! There are people like that who know how to play with the system,” said Luis Gutierrez, a small business owner whose barber shop was denied the same loan Quiboloy had received.

Gutierrez’s barber shop is in the same predominantly Hispanic neighborhood where the Quiboloy Church is located and where a number of Filipino immigrants live.

No comment

This writer also contacted US Representative Tony Cardenas, a Democrat serving the 29th district of California where Quiboloy parishioners live. But Elaine Shubat, an assistant to the congressman, said her boss didn’t know enough about Quiboloy and the KOJC to make an official statement.

Investigator Mindanao tried to reach Quiboloy for his comment, but a senior church official said the pastor was no longer speaking to the press and a US-based lawyer Michael Jay Green had been appointed. to speak on his behalf.

The investigator was still awaiting the attorney’s statement at the time of going to press. —With a report from Germelina Lacorte

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