A well-known 62-year-old Baptist pastor based in the city of Miami Gardens, in southeastern Florida -United States-, was arrested this Tuesday and accused of multiple crimes, among which the exploitation of an elderly man stands out.
Abusing your trust, the religious stole thousands of dollars from the older adultaccording to the Miami-Dade County Attorney’s Office.
Eric Readon, pastor of New Beginnings Missionary Baptist Church, was arrested today on charges of “exploitation of an elder, fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and grand theft“, according to the office of the prosecutor of the aforementioned county, Katherine Fernández Rundle.
Started a complex plot by Readon involving numerous transfers of property deeds
“There is something particularly hateful when an alleged scammer takes away the hopes and dreams of one of our elderly residents.“Fernández said in a tweet in which he announced that the State Attorney’s Office and Police team had arrested Readon, “businessman and pastor of the city of Miami Gardens.”
The victim is Edward Fuller, 76 years old.
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Currently, Readon remains under arrest in a county jail on $42,500 bond.
Pastor Readon’s Plan
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the events date back to 2015, when Readon offered Fuller help so that he could finish the construction of the interior of his home, something he could not do due to lack of financing.
Although Fuller did not know him, the victim believed Readon when he told her that he knew someone at the county permitting office who would help him obtain financing to finish his house. Too, told him that for $15,000 he would get him a loan that would cover the construction costsbut that he could only get the loan if he gave him 50% of the property.
The defendant then had Fuller sign the documents for this operation for the benefit of Project Youth Outreach Unlimeted, a non-profit corporation owned by Readon.
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The old man believed at all times that the transfer of the part of the property was only to secure the loan and that, once the works on his house were finished, Readon would return the transferred part of the property to him.
He used the property to enrich himself and in 18 months he managed to get hold of the entire property
In this way, explains the Prosecutor’s Office, “began a complex plot by Readon that involved numerous transfers of property deeds, loans, modifications and mortgages and bank card credits” in order to “confuse and mislead” Fuller.
Meanwhile, Readon “used the property to enrich himself and in 18 months he managed to get hold of the entire property and, without Fuller’s knowledge, sold it without any of the benefits he had promised,” he added.
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What’s more, Readon’s alleged scam left Fuller with thousands of dollars in credit and debit card debt. The total amount of money stolen from Fuller is around, according to the Prosecutor’s Office, 267,000 dollars.
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