I will detail some facts and leave you to answer the above for yourself:
The Australian Tax Office (ATO [= IRS in USA] attacks one little church/charity – not the Catholic or Anglican church, but a small non denominational Christian church. During the course of the ATO’s persecution about 80 tax officers work on the case.
Senior tax lawyers agree they have never seen anything like this – 2 Assistant Commissioners + 3 Deputy Commissioners + 5 Directors + 7 lawyers and another 60 or so tax officers!
ATO actions against church/charity
o Paralyzing it by cheating to get court enforced freeze orders over ALL assets
o Relying on flawed information provided by unreliable witnesses
o Knowingly polluting all internal investigations and prejudicing all tax officers with defective data
o Using the complicit media to destroy reputations o Uncaring of collateral damage to innocent followers
o Flouting court judicial processes
o Ignoring its own policies of 5 years maximum back taxes to impose 90% penalties for 8 years
o Issuing ludicrous assessment notices that assume business and living expenses were NIL
o Maliciously bankrupting penniless church workers
Is this prejudice against a Christian church / charity?
Or is there something more to it?
How about this?
A government re-elected with such a slim margin politicians (pollies) need to do a dubious deal with a problematic independent pollie.
A Speaker of the House appointment? Nice!
Moving on a few years….
Said Speaker is a little careless with renewal of some paperwork that allows some mining exploration leases to lapse.
Potentially lucrative leases… the size of a small country … gold, copper, uranium, coal…
Meanwhile, the same pollie, for many months, has neglected to pay the Chief Executive, a geologist, of the company holding these leases.
The Chief Executive resigns. And decides to stake his own claim. He registers and pays for mining exploration leases over the same dirt.
The pollie finds out – he is furious!
He throws his considerable political weight about trying to get the leases reversed.
Pollie needs to call in some favours.
Where would such a pollie go for this?
To the pollie party in power? ….
It would be the logical thing to do, wouldn’t it?
The now former CEO doesn’t take it lying down – he fights back For the next few years ownership of the leases remains in limbo as public servants dance the tightrope between following procedures and political pressures.
The former CEO has a few ‘scary’ experiences. ….
Then he meets a pastor, who over time impresses with his unconditional support, caring, honesty and integrity.
The former CEO decides to assign rights to the leases to the pastor – knowing any profit will be used for the benefit of all mankind. Together they visit the government offices to organise the change. A pollie – or two, show keen, but discreet interest, the pastor notices a camera flash as they men walk through the office.
The pastor and family members are followed by police.
With the lease ownership still in question, court cases begin. The pastor continues his calling to selflessly help all comers, sometimes at the expense of his own family.
By now it’s early 2008 and the pastor heads off to Europe, ministering to Italian and Swiss people in need. After returning to Australia for a few months he begins visiting South Pacific countries to research suitable locations for international aid and missionary projects.
A short trip is made to the Cook Islands, then mid-year a church follower who’s off to the Philippines to source workers, invites the pastor to accompany him.
Towards the end of 2008, both the pastor, and his assistant travel to Vanuatu to gather more facts. In 2009 the pastor revisits Vanuatu a few times, ministering to many and establishing a charity.
Meanwhile the church follower, having brought Filipino workers into Australia under 457 migrant visas, is raided by immigration and Australian Federal Police for breaching visa conditions and other offences. He becomes a police and taxation office informant.
Later in the year an announcement is made from the pulpit concerning establishing a base in the South Pacific region and inviting people to participate in planned projects. A number of supporters decide to become involved.
In early 2010 Arthur Cristian (www.loveforlife.com.au), based in NSW receives a phone call from a concerned federal government worker (he suspects police). He’s warned that there’s going to be a major attack on a Christian church/charity soon by the authorities. http://loveforlife.com.au/content/10/05/27/adelaide-doomsday-cult-media-spin-agape-ministry-god-pastor-rocco-leo-run-are-we-re
Note: Mr Christian is not associated with this church (doesn’t know anything about it until a few months later when the predicted media frenzy begins). At this time he posts details about the phone call on his website.
A TV reporter uses all the usual inflammatory and emotive words to ‘beat up’ the untrue and libellous stories about the church, pastor and other innocent supporters.
The program even goes so far as to imply paedophilia and similar vicious slander.
Said ‘journalist’ interviews a drug abuser (recently overdosed and died), a woman who had never attended the church, but was willing to make outrageous and fictitious claims and others of similar type.
The program’s producer was contacted about airing the truth. He said he wasn’t interested.
Late April 2010: The former church supporter, who had himself been in trouble with over the 457 visas, bragged to the geologist (in the presence of a former police officer) that the federal police were investigating the church/charity and pastor. The next month the same person, as part of his ill fated attempt to rob the church of $2.2 million, via a spurious civil court claim, swore an affidavit that he knew nothing about this investigation until he saw the media coverage in May 2010.
In May 2010, a few days after the pastor went to Fiji for meetings with government people, police raided the church and some properties owned by supporters. Inaccurate information was provided in their media conference. The media frenzy became so over the top that most people associated with the church lost their jobs. Some were rejected by family, others had to move interstate to get work just to feed their family. The most extreme case concerned a young mother who had to flee the country because her violent, drug-crazed ex-husband was harassing and bashing her friends and relatives.
There’s a very worrying trend in our culture right now. It is to label anyone who accuses authority of persecuting citizens as a conspiracy theorist (think ‘nutter’).
April 2010: A major so-called expose by a disreputable journalist using uncorroborated evidence (later proven to be false) is launched by Channel 7 TV’s Today Tonight program against Agape Ministries International (AMI). Deceptive images and emotive language is used during interviews with unreliable witnesses.
May 2010: The family (Melchiorre) of a church follower (who is severely disabled and unable to prevent them doing so) launches a civil court case against the church on the 17th May.
Two days later the same people apply to the court for a freeze order over assets of the church, its pastor, assistant pastor and youth minister’s assets. The court grants the order. This occurs on the same day as South Australian Police Officers (SAPOL) illegally raid the church and followers’ premises.
A week later, using the same lawyer, another church follower, Martin Penney (later exposed as police informant in March 2012 ) launches a claim in the civil court against the very same parties. Again, within two days, a freeze order is applied for and granted by the same court.
This freeze order is identical to the first in its list of assets, including the bank accounts.
Jul 2010: Both Melchiorre and Penney freeze orders were updated with a further 5 bank accounts added to the list of assets.
Is there some scheming, some plotting going on?
The source of the 10 bank accounts details:
- Only one account is likely to be known to either party making these claims. This account, in the pastor’s name is likely to be known by the second party, Martin Penney. Why? Because his family sometimes deposited tithes into it.
- The other 9 accounts belong to a range of parties. The details of these accounts were not widely known within the church. In fact some of the accounts were known about by some of the church/charity board members, but none knew of all 9. Board members attest to this fact.
Martin Penney, in his affidavit (a legal document submitted to the court) supporting his civil claim said he didn’t know anything about the entire situation until he saw the media coverage after the 19th May 2010 police raid on the church.
That was after the first (Melchiorre) claim and first freeze order.
- He is closely related to a serving SA police officer, who lives in an adjoining property.
- He has been exposed as a police and tax office informant.
Documents sourced from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) under FOI, and addressed to SAPOL
show that tax officers did not officially have access to the bank account numbers until early July.
- On June 30th 2010, tax officers wrote to SA police asking for the bank account statements in their possession as part of a fraud investigation (127 fraud charges were withdrawn after South Australia’s Director of Public Prosecutions, during a media conference, announced there was no chance of proving fraud against the pastor or his associates, and that the witnesses were unreliable).
- It appears the only party to legally have the bank account details detailed in the freeze orders was SAPOL, as part of their ill advised and poorly informed (based on badly flawed ‘intell’) investigation into the church.
In their shameful scramble to get as much money from the pastor as possible after the reprehensible court ruling against him (in his forced absence), the Melchiorre family provided their legal accounts from the lawyer who represented both them and Penney for the first year of their court action.
- These records show the Melchiorre family retained the services of this lawyer in October 2009.
- The donation to the church was not even made until the 23rd October 2009.
- A further claimed (but never proven) donation was the undisclosed takings from the sale of a property in September 2009, ($130,000 being the difference between price paid by the buyer and the [lower] sale price provided to the SA govt Land Titles Registrar.
What affect did it have on the amount of tax paid on the real estate transaction?
ii. Did this affect Centrelink payments?
iii. Was this cheating the government?
Back to the bank account information. If the only party that legally had this information was SAPOL, how did it get to the Melchiorre family, or their lawyer?
Note: This type of information is not legally available to anyone without a court order.
May 2010: The ATO revoked AMI’s charity (tax free) status on May 27th 2010, after a two day ‘comprehensive review’ that FOI documents reveal was likely to have been based on rumour and hearsay.
June 2010: The ATO begin an audit of AMI and associated persons back dated for 10 years (not the usual 5 years).
August 2010: The ATO issues assessments for the parties, due and payable in two days.
November 2010: The ATO goes to court seeking freeze orders based on flawed information. Garnishee orders are issued and money taken from bank accounts by the ATO.
December 2010: ATO successful in acquiring comprehensive (defendants have no access to funds for living, business or mounting legal expenses) freeze order. This action flies in the face of court processes to allow access for funds for legitimate expenses.
Note: In calculating tax, at no time over the 10 year period has the ATO allowed for any expenditure except bank fees. No maintenance or day-to-day operating costs, rates, living expenses etc. etc.
July 2011: SAPOL posts a statement on their ‘facts’ website correcting much of media hype –
after SA DPP’s two media releases and a media conference declaring no fraud prosecution and witness unreliability. Police were conned! After a completely useless series of raids and a media blitz prompted by envy and greed, what did they have? ZERO
What a monumental waste of money!
May 2012: SAPOL is ordered by a District Court magistrate to pay the AMI follower’s court costs (and return confiscated belongings) after the charges, for trumped up offences are found without any basis. So after hounding an innocent man for 2 years police grudgingly comply.
For more information check out the pages found in Attackers (https://love4truth.org/attackers)