Brazilian Evangelicals Named in Indictment

Associated Press/February 6, 2007

A U.S. grand jury indictment has been returned against a couple who lead a large Brazilian evangelical church accusing them of illegally smuggling money into the United States and making false statements.

Arraignment on the charges is scheduled today for Estevam Hernandes-Filho and Sonia Haddad Moraes Hernandes, who are free on $100,000 bail but must remain largely confined to their Florida residence.

The indictment, returned late last week, charges the couple with bulk cash smuggling, conspiracy and making false statements on U.S. customs forms. The couple filled out paperwork claiming they had about $21,000 when they arrived in the United States but was actually carrying more than $56,000, prosecutors say.

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