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Church leaders charged with forced labor of homeless people

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Victims were allegedly stripped of their identification paperwork, held captive, and forced to panhandle

Image source: KSWB-TV video screenshot

Twelve leaders of a California-based church have been indicted by a federal grand jury, accused of holding homeless people against their will and forcing dozens of alleged victims into panhandling for the financial benefit of ministry leadership.

What are the details?

Imperial Valley Ministries runs roughly 30 nondenominational churches throughout the southwest United States and Mexico, and operates three group homes with the promise of restoring drug addicts. Instead, officials claim, IVM exploited the people who came to the church for help.

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