Cult leader ordered to refund 'healing' payment

AAP, Australia/June 4, 2012

Former cult leader Rocco Leo has been ordered to return $420,000 to a severely disabled woman who handed over the money believing she would be healed.

In the South Australian District Court today, Silvana Melchiorre was awarded a default judgment against the former Agape Ministries leader after he failed to appear.

Ms Melchiorre, who is confined to a wheelchair and has difficulty communicating, may also be awarded more than $114,000 in interest and costs.

She had argued that she was duped into giving money to Agape after being promised she would be taken to a South Pacific island where she would be healed and saved from global armageddon.

Leo is living in Fiji after fleeing Australia. His assets in Australia, worth millions of dollars, have been frozen.

Ms Melchiorre's lawyer, David Bulloch, argued her money never actually belonged to Leo and was held in trust. The most influential people in Sport

Outside the court, Mr Bulloch said his client was relieved by Judge David Lovell's judgment.

But he said the case would not be fully resolved until the court decided on interest and access to the money.

"The matter is still before the court," he said.

The case continues on Wednesday.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.