The Samoan Independent Seventh Day Adventist Church (SISDAC) in New Zealand has been accused of having a hand in a fraudulent cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme, which defrauded its congregation.
A claim the church has since denied om its official Facebook Page on May 2, saying it did not knowingly participate in the illegal activity.
Apart from the official statement, the church, also requested that all enquiries be directed to, Minister Tafilelea Faavae Gagamoe or Pastor Amos Auimatagi-Feau, through a dedicated phone line: (09) 275 6007.
The messages reads:
SISDAC COMMUNICATION RELEASE
From the SISDAC Office of Compliance and Church Administration – as at 2 May 2019 15:00hrs.
Please find below SISDAC Communication Release in response to current speculations being publicised on various social media platforms.
“..SISDAC has never knowingly participated or colluded in any way shape or form with any individual or organisation in this type of illegal activity.
…SISDAC is seeking legal counsel over these matters that threaten the integrity and good standing of the church, its leadership, its missional work and the well-being of its loyal membership.”
SISDAC, however, is not the only church in New Zealand being fingered in the conspiracy, as another place of worship, the Samoa Worship Center, was also accused of having links with OneCoin.
OneCoin, like in the past, is being accused of raising millions of dollars across the globe by through fraudulent means. It promises investors a huge return that never happens.
According to RadioNZ, New Zealand’s Samoan community was specifically targetted, with the staff at OneCoin using SISDAC and the Samoa Worship Center “to reach a vast network of would-be investors.”
A scam which saw approximately 100 members of a particular congregation investing in the crypto scheme, said a woman who spoke in anonymity.
Meanwhile, authorities in Samoa recently compiled a report on the allegations raised by New Zealand’s Financial Intelligence Unit, and concluded that SISDAC participated in money laundering scheme knowingly; but the church continues to deny the allegation.
More so, an employee of the Samoa Worship Center, denied the allegation on RadioNZ, saying they will take legal action against the Samoan government for tainting their image.
Recall that in 2018, Samoa’s central bank placed a ban on all activities involving OneCoin, but this was not enouhh to deter investors from the scheme.
There is no doubt that the initiative by OneCoin is fraudulent, as one of its co-founders, Konstantin Ignatov, is also being investigated by U.S. law enforcement for illegal activities.
Also in March, Manhattan’s attorney general charged OneCoin’s lawyer for the role he played in a wire fraud scheme.