Problems are growing for an Oklahoma City pastor accused of embezzlement. Velio Estrada was the leader of one of the city’s largest Hispanic congregations at El Tabernaculo de Fe.
Edwin Dubon has known him for more than 18 years and says he’s tired of hearing all the negative comments made against his friend.
“I don’t think he’s capable. I don’t think he’s done the things he’s accused of,” he said.
Dubon said that everything has an explanations, such as the poor records kept. He said that’s because he runs a small church with simple people who aren’t used to running a church like a business.
“You go to an American church and you have doctors and lawyers, business owners,” he said. “Most of the people who go to that church are waiters and roofers, not the owners, but the guys putting the roof on.”
Dubon said the legal battle with Oklahoma District Council of the Assemblies of God of the State of Oklahoma is taking a toll on Estrada.
Recently the bank filed a foreclosure notice regarding Estrada's Edmond private estate.
According to the Oklahoma County Assessor’s Office, the home is worth about $475,000 and was titled under El Tabernaculo De Fe Inc.
Court documents list several people on the notice, which says more than $360,000 are owed on the home. Online county records also show there’s more than $24,000 owed on unpaid taxes for the last four years.
Dubon said this supports his claim that Estrada is innocent. “They say he has all that money. Why are they taking his house away if he had all that money?” he said.
A call to the attorney representing Estrada in the foreclosure case was not returned.