Cult leader Rocco Leo given court permission to sell Agape Ministries assets

ABC News Australia/June 24, 2013

A cult leader has been given court permission to sell assets as part of ending a long-running dispute involving Agape Ministries.

Its leader Rocco Leo, who is believed to be in Fiji, was sued by a former group member and the Australian Taxation Office.

Stroke victim Silvana Melchiorre was awarded $420,000 after claiming she was brainwashed into donating to Leo.

But two court orders freezing Leo's Australian assets prevented payment of his legal bills.

After several years of legal wrangling, the Adelaide District Court was told the parties had reached an agreement for Agape properties to be sold so bills could be met.

The court ordered Leo to meet $1 million of unpaid tax, plus costs to the tax office, and pay money owed to Ms Melchiorre, along with her legal costs.

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