NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida pastor known for his generosity is being accused of an unholy act.
Prosecutors said he cheated an elderly man out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“This is an elderly exploitation and fraud case,” said a prosecutor during Eric Readon’s court appearance.
A Miami Gardens pastor and businessman was arrested and charged with multiple felonies.
“The primary victim was an elderly senior,” said the prosecutor in court.
Eric Readon appeared before a judge Tuesday. Facing charges of exploiting the elderly, scheme to defraud, theft from the elderly and more.
“It was the man’s entire life saving and his entire home,” said the prosecutor in court.
“My heart goes out to this family,” said Readon.
You may recognize Readon. He’s been known to help victims of tragedies and their families throughout the years.
“We will do whatever we have to do to bring justice to the situation,” said Readon.
This was him back in 2017 and several other times, raising money and donations in times of need, but behind the scenes, he was allegedly taking money from unsuspecting victims.
“And in this case, clearly he was taking advantage of the vulnerabilities of his victims,” said Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.
According to the Miami-Dade County State Attorney, 75-year-old Edward Fuller, an army veteran, was building his retirement home on this property in Northwest Miami-Dade.
It was supposed to be his dream home, but he said after meeting Pastor Readon, it turned into a house of nightmares.
“He just needed a little helping hand, and instead he got everything stolen from him,” said Rundle.
In 2015, Fuller ran out of cash to complete his home, and that’s when 7News was told Readon stepped in to offer help, eventually tricking the victim into signing over the property for a better chance of getting a loan but claiming he would transfer it back once things were done, but that allegedly never happened.
“He talks him in to signing what he thinks is just is just some ownership. It was the whole thing thanks to that quitclaim deed,” said Rundle.
“There’s a second set of victims, a newlywed couple that he was sham renting the same property to,” said the prosecutor in court.
That couple allegedly out about $3,100. The elderly victim out about $267,000.
A judge ordered Readon to stay away from all of them.
“No contact with these alleged victims, either directly, indirectly, in person, in writing, by telephone or through third parties,” said Judge Mindy S. Glazer.
Readon’s bond was set at $42,500, but first he has to prove to the judge where that money comes from.
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