Story By: Ana Marjanovic, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
A gorgeous gospel singer arrested over a huge alleged fraud has told how she “won 15 souls for Jesus” while she was behind bars.
Isabela Cristi Gomes Barros, 28 – known as Izabela Cristy to fans – is now under house arrest after her release from Vespasiano Prison in south-eastern Brazil 22 days ago.
She and her husband David Robson are accused of defrauding around 300 people in a Ponzi-style scheme.
Now at her parents’ house in a nearby city, the singer and influencer – who has 135,000 Instagram followers – has told of her routine in prison.
She said: “When I entered the prison, I had a feeling of injustice, I was unfairly arrested and whoever conned me was not there.
“So I decided to worship God in that place, I heard stories (from the other prisoners), I managed to get them to accept Jesus.”
Isabela – arrested with her husband at their flat in Lagoa Santa on 6th May – said she passed through two cells, where she held services for other inmates.
She said: “From the two cells, I won 15 souls for Jesus. God put me there for the purpose of helping people.
“They asked me to sing every day, asked ‘where’s the gospel singer?’ I launched into my song ‘Novidade’ and everyone learnt to sing.”
Isabela told how she would wake up at dawn to pray and how she would cry when she thought of her five-month-old daughter.
She said: “Away from my daughter, I felt an emptiness, my milk dried up, the tears came down.
“After breakfast, I would stay there listening to the stories. After dinner, I would worship every day and then I would start to sing.”
Now that Isabela is under house arrest, she has been reunited with her daughter.
But her husband – who is the infant’s father – remains behind bars.
Isabela said: “The audit of the company continues and those who haven’t received it will still receive it.
“Even under house arrest, I’m gathering evidence and I’m back to advertising my cosmetics line on Instagram.
“We were also victims of a scam and I want justice to be done.”
Isabela has to wear an electronic ankle tag and may only leave home in exceptional circumstances as part of her release.
Her passport has been seized.
Police Sergeant Alexandre Miranda Goncalves said that at the time of the couple’s arrest, they refused to open the front door, which had to be broken down.
He added that they used their then three-month-old daughter as a human shield.
The couple had presented themselves as “traders” online and promised to invest their clients’ money on the stock exchange and give them a bigger return a few months later – which did not happen.
The investigation continues.