Church Pastor, Wife Sentenced After Using Homeless for Forced Labor, Stealing Benefits – Christian Marriage Doesn’t Improve Society or Make People More Ethical

Church Pastor, Wife Sentenced After Using Homeless for Forced Labor, Stealing Benefits – Christian Marriage Doesn’t Improve Society or Make People More Ethical

It’s more and more difficult for me to want to stick with the Christian faith at all when I see so few people who claim to be Christians actually consistently live out a Christian lifestyle, or who commit such obviously anti-biblical actions.

Also let this serve as yet another example of how “hyper pro marriage, hyper pro Nuclear Family” views put out by Christians simply is not true: Christian marriage didn’t make this couple more godly, mature, loving, or ethical, nor did this marriage improve society.

Further, Gender Complementarian teaching (which includes “male headship” teaching) is clearly false, since so many self professing Christian men are unethical dirt balls.

(Link): Pastor Who Used Homeless as Forced Labor, Three Others Plead Guilty to Benefits Fraud 

(Link): California pastor gets jail time for using homeless in benefits fraud scheme: ‘Appalling abuse of power’

Victor Gonzalez and wife were part of church labor trafficking scheme, according to prosecutors

by Jon Brown

A California pastor and his wife were sentenced to prison time earlier this month after pleading guilty to a charge related to what federal prosecutors described as a church labor trafficking scheme that victimized the homeless.

Victor Gonzalez, the head pastor of California-based Imperial Valley Ministries (IVM), was sentenced to six months in prison and another six months of house confinement after pleading guilty in a San Diego federal court to conspiracy to commit benefits fraud, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

His wife, Susan Gonzalez, who pleaded guilty to the same charge, received a time-served sentence.

Gonzalez and his wife were among a dozen church leaders who were charged in 2019 with forced labor, conspiracy, document servitude and benefits fraud. He and the others were arrested Sept. 10, 2019, in El Centro, California, San Diego, California, and Brownsville, Texas.

(Link): Church pastor, wife sentenced after using homeless for forced labor, stealing benefits

By Nicole Alcindor
January 16, 2023

A California pastor and his wife will serve time behind bars after pleading guilty to forcing homeless people to give up their welfare benefits and panhandle for up to nine hours a day, six days a week, in what federal prosecutors call a church labor trafficking scheme.

Victor Gonzalez, the head pastor of Imperial Valley Ministries, was sentenced to six months in prison and an additional six months in home confinement after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit benefits fraud in a San Diego federal court. His wife, Susan Gonzalez, received a time-served sentence.

The church, headquartered in El Centro, owned and operated group homes for men and women in the El Centro area, Calexico and Chula Vista. According to prosecutors, they recruited from outside El Centro and as far away as Texas.

Prosecutors allege that IVM leaders forced group home program participants to panhandle and held those who joined the program confined in group homes against their will. An indictment alleges that the defendants confiscated identification documents that prevented participants from leaving their homes.

Participants were also forced to adhere to church rules, which included no contact with family members for roughly 30 days from the time they joined, City News Service reports.

The defendants also used and distributed benefits the participants received through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, according to the plea agreement.  …

…The allegations are based on the defendant’s alleged involvement in recruiting homeless people in San Diego and other cities and forcing them to raise money on behalf of the El Centro-based church.

All the other co-defendants, prosecutors say,  pleaded guilty alongside the Gonzalez for their involvement in recruiting homeless people for labor-intensive work and panhandling for church leaders to reap the financial benefits.

The Salvation Army issued a case study in 2020 expressing concerns about the ministry’s labor tactics as having been “a disturbing case of labor trafficking in which leaders of a church ministry exploited several people under the guise of helping them.”

“Often, faith communities can have a powerful and positive impact on people’s lives but unfortunately sometimes that power is manipulated and corrupted by individuals who are willing to exploit others for their own benefit. This case is a tragic example of how vulnerabilities are targeted by traffickers and power and control are employed to exploit victims,” the Christian charity stated in a report.


(Link): They Put Their Faith in a God-Fearing Man Selling Them Tiny Homes. Now They’re Suing Him For Fraud – Christians: Please Learn the Red Flags, Research Cluster B Personality Disorders

(Link): Tithe Money Funded Hillsong Pastors’ Luxury Lifestyles: Former Members by H. Frishberg

(Link): Married Father of Three Pastor Allegedly Committed Adultery, Raped Junior Woman Church Staffer, Used Church Funds to Fund Lavish Lifestyle

(Link): Mark Driscoll Paid for Honeymoon with Church Funds

(Link): Cannot Stand Rod Parsley – Greedy Pastor 

(Link): Pastor Appears To Berate Congregation For Not Buying Him A High-Priced Watch In Viral Clip

(Link): Maryland Pastor Facing Federal Charges For Arranging 60 Fraudulent Marriages in Citizenship Scheme

(Link): Church Videographer Who Sounded Very Christian in His Social Media Accounts Accused of Molesting Girls

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