Former bishop, place chief charged with illegally move possessions term, protecting fund to the church services throughout California
College AME Zion payday loans Taylorsville on Church vocalists and artists carry out “Glorious Big date (Traditions The guy Cherished Me)” from the Casting Crowns on the Palo Alto church’s sanctuary towards the . Pictures by the Magali Gauthier.
A so-called con design you to definitely place African Methodist Episcopal Zion Chapel features, together with inside the Palo Alto, to your millions of dollars out of financial obligation provides contributed to the latest arrests away from a former bishop and you may place chief, the U.S. Department away from Justice told you towards Saturday.
Staccato Powell and you can Sheila Quintana were arrested and you may appeared in government legal into the Monday to face fees off conspiracy, cable ripoff and send swindle stemming regarding strategy, which directed congregations into the Palo Alto, Oakland, San Jose and La and private loan providers, You.S. Lawyer Stephanie Meters. Hinds and FBI Unique Broker in charge Craig D. Fair told you within the an announcement.
Powell, 62, away from Aftermath Forest, North carolina, and you can Quintana, 67, away from Vallejo, was basically officials of Western Episcopal Area, Inc., an organization designed from the Powell and you may Quintana into the 2016 after Powell’s alternatives since the bishop on the West Episcopal Section of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Chapel (AME Zion Chapel), a historically African-American denomination of about step one.cuatro billion adherents global tracing their records to help you 1796.
A federal indictment registered The month of january. six and you will exposed into Monday alleges you to Powell and you will Quintana conspired so you’re able to defraud the latest AME Zion Chapel congregations, also College AME Zion during the Palo Alto, by lso are-deeding neighborhood congregations’ qualities regarding identity out-of West Episcopal District Inc. (Get married, Inc.), a straw entity. In advance of Powell and you will Quintana’s actions, brand new congregations got little or no mortgage debt to their local chapel properties, including sanctuaries, residences to own pastoral group and other structures utilized by the local congregations to possess spiritual objectives. Sometimes, new congregations had paid off the mortgage loans age earlier.
Powell and Quintana put incorrect statements and you may omissions to force offer deeds off local pastors, claiming brand new church’s Publication out-of Discipline, a guiding file, desired Powell to put new offer deeds below West Episcopal’s ownership. Pastors which protested were got rid of significantly less than pretexts, to ensure that an effective council one satisfied every quarter wasn’t able to congregate so you can choose on otherwise accept the loan transfers and money, leaving Powell which have sheer handle with no supervision, centered on a , suit recorded in the federal bankruptcy proceeding judge of the University AME Zion Chapel from Palo Alto.
New congregations don’t know that he almost instantaneously began taking out fully grand money up against the functions, according to the lawsuit, and this aims to eliminate Powell and you will Quintana from succeeding during the case of bankruptcy proceedings who does through the church properties.
University AME Zion Church focused when you look at the multimillion-dollars scam program
Saddled that have tremendous personal debt regarding individual loan providers, the spot where the congregations and you may churches acquired perhaps not a penny out of the money, the newest program began to unravel pursuing the Palo Alto chapel received a notification off standard on one of one’s money, according to municipal bankruptcy proceeding situation.
According to criminal indictment, immediately following providing power over the chapel characteristics, Powell, Quintana and others used the real estate once the equity to acquire the fresh new high notice financing, exceeding $fourteen billion inside the net continues. The Palo Alto church alone was indebted for more than $3.9 mil, considering the lawsuit, which seeks to prevent Powell and you will Quintana from using brand new chapel property as an element of its you will need to accept the bankruptcy.
Powell and you may Quintana allegedly diverted money from the brand new money due to their benefit, such as the acquisition of qualities for the North carolina of the Powell, ending financial debt into the Powell’s private house from inside the Vermont, and money repayments to Quintana’s companion. To your , Wed Inc. filed having Part eleven bankruptcy shelter and you can detailed 11 places of worship during the California, Arizona and you will Texas one of the property, according to Agencies from Justice.