Sunday, April 19, 2009

Church fraud in Corona and Forest Hills

From NY1:

Two self-described pastors have been charged with allegedly running an immigration scam out of a storefront church in Corona.

Gregorio Gonzalez and Gerardo Bello were arraigned last night and are being held without bail on grand larceny and fraud charges.

The Queens District Attorney's Office says the men promised work visas and legal status to at least 70 immigrants – charging as much as 8,000 for each document. The DA says the victims, mostly Ecuadorian immigrants, were bilked out of $500,000.

Gonzalez and Bello face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

And from the NY Post:

An unholy alliance of church leaders fleeced their Queens flock out of more than $9.3 million in an investment scam that preyed on the elderly and disabled, authorities said yesterday.

The alleged sinister ministers at the Local Christian Assembly Church in Forest Hills doubled as the congregation's financial advisers, funneling cash into their own investment company and spending much of it on jewelry, clothes, vacations and a $200,000 Bentley.


linda said...

LMAO and why isn't anyone checking these so call church leaders? they are abusing the system and not paying taxes, it's time that the city cracks down on these so call church want-a-bees and get after them all. I think too many are going up under reglion faiths so they don't pay taxes, another way to beat the system if no one is checking on them. and to the illegals who paid out money, oh well too bad you know you were doing something illegal.

Anonymous said...

I happen to live near the so-called "church" in Forest Hills and there's no sign on the outside to indicate that it is a church. From the looks of this palace, it could be a large community center. Lots of out-of-towners come in though on Sundays and Wednesday nights--some even with NJ plates--but no one from Forest Hills.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

"Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt."
Exodus 22:21, King James Version

The pastor should have read the book.

Anonymous said...

LMAO and why isn't anyone checking these so call church leaders?

From that East River group, to block busting Asian churches in eastern Quens, to that mysterious church run 'affordable housing' group that shows up in communities with weak civics demanding 1000s of 'affordable housing units,' religious institutions in Queens are deeply involved with developers.

Even mainstream churches whose disasterous agendas chase away congregations are converting community landmarks into out of scale development enterprises.

Their religous exemptions should be questioned and developer related funding made public.

Anonymous said...

Check out all of those (now de-centralized) Reverend Moon churches spread all over NYC!


There IS NOTHING in the US Constitution that says you can't tax a religious institution.

It only requires a separation of church and state.

I've been told that there are some
municipalities in the USA that already are taxing religious institutions.

Has anyone info on this?

Anonymous said...

Ooops...I meant "TAX" them
(must have had Texas or text-ing on my brain).

Anonymous said...

THAT's A CHURCH????!!!
And how is inhabiting the apartments upstairs? The "pastor's" family? Are they pay property taxes or are they just illegally collecting rent?? There are way too many of these so called churches all over Queens. TIME TO EXPOSE THE FRAUD. City Hall-- are you aware of this real estate loophole costing the city $millions??

Anonymous said...

The pastor (Joseph Coleman) needs to be investigated. He is a known manipulator amongst his people. He is known for breaking up families and other churches who opposes him. Yeah, it is kinda suspicious that he has no church name outside! Throw the book at this guy!

Anonymous said...

C'mon fella...
are you really serious about burning
"...these fake churches down !!!!"?

You're beginning to sound a lot like a foaming-at-the-mouth good-old-boy southern racist.

Anonymous said...

K girls are hot!

Anonymous said...

Jake LaCrapa, that stuttering dumbass attorney for former councilshit and granny molester, Dennis Pee Gallagher, is looking to rent a basement apartment here.

Anonymous said...

It's time to crack down and tax all churches. They're businesses that ought to pick up the cost of the services they consume. Look at the number of Korean "Christian churches" in Flushing. Every home that's purchased is converted into a place of "worship" to dodge taxes. The only worship that goes on is adulation of the almighty dollar.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately taxing churches is a very dicey business. In "Marbury vs. Madison", which established the right of states to raise funds independently of federal interference, it was stated thusly, "The power to tax is the power to destroy."

Nixon famously used the IRS to attack his enemies, and most recently a very controversial tax on executive bonuses was narrowly avoided as cooler heads prevailed.

Taxes are for garnering the revenue required to provide necessary public services. Taxes are not the correct way to punish criminal or fraudulent behavior. That is what jail is for.

Anonymous said...

The pastor had nothing to do with the crime.

Anonymous said...

The "Pastor" sanctioned these church officials (i.e.- his son, ministers, deacons) to go amongst the congregation and ask for business... Joseph Coleman prayed over this business venture before the congregation! He had everything to do with this business venture... It occurred within *his* church amongst *his* congregation under his blessing!!! if this is the line he's giving you inside the church... you need to check out and pick your mind up on the way out of there.

Anonymous said...

you people have no idea what you are talkin about. i go to the church and you should shutup becuase u have no idea what happened.

Anonymous said...

The church is a safe haven for criminals. Many turn to the church at a time of need to be intercepted by low life con artists.

Edward Murachanian (his office is convientantly located outside a retirement community) an attorney in Brick Township New Jersey Ocean County runs a scam out of Fellowship Chapel in Point Pleasant Beach New Jersey.

When I was going to reveal his scam I was assaulted by his partner in crime Richard Maranitz 170 Duchess Lane Brick, NJ. Maranitz is an internet ordained pastor.

They have practiced the art of deception to deceive church members for years.

Report any information of church fraud to the FBI in Washington DC.

Anonymous said...