Man, 70, accuses Miami Gardens pastor of taking his dream home
Edward Fuller searched for attorney to fight pastor Eric Readon in court
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Edward Fuller is one of several people who contacted Local 10 News after an investigation aired about the business practices of Miami Gardens pastor Eric Readon.
He claims the pastor has taken him for over $500,000 and tricked him into signing over his dream house.
Victims claim they loaned Readon money, handed over cash to rent homes and gave him a deposit to buy his car.
All claimed they were not repaid.
Fuller said he took his case to Miami-Dade police but was told that, because he willfully signed papers and was not forced to, it was a civil matter.
He has yet to find an attorney to take his case.
Fuller, 70, has plans, the permits and the pictures from the home.
"I can walk through this house blindfolded and tell you exactly where everything is," he said.
Fuller doesn't have his dream house and claims he was blindsided by Readon.
"He sold my house," Fuller said. "He sold the house Feb.13. He sold that house for $380,000."
How much did Fuller get from that?
"I got not one red cent," he said.
The home is located in the 10900 block of Northwest 19th Avenue.
Fuller bought the property more than 30 years ago and had a plan. After a 35-year career with the U.S. Postal Service, his retirement project was to build a dream house for his family.
"This was like my gift to my daughters once I was gone," Fuller said. "It's just that simple."
After retirement, the walls and the roof went up.
Fuller admits he ran out of money to finish.
Then, he claims, one day Readon appeared.
The pair had never met before.
"Somehow, he got the information that I was having a problem getting it completed," Fuller said.
Fuller claims Readon took him to a hard money lender for a loan.
Project Youth Outreach Unlimited, a nonprofit corporation, was made the contractor on the $125,000 construction loan.
Readon is the president of that nonprofit.
But there was a catch. To get the loan, Fuller had to sign 50 percent of his property over to Readon.
Since conventional lenders had turned him down, Fuller agreed and work on the house began again.
Fuller let Readon have full control over the $125,000 loan.
When the money ran out, the house was still not finished.
Fuller claims in order to get more funds using his good credit, the pastor persuaded him to sign over the other 50 percent of the house, so Fuller's credit would be free and clear.
That meant Project Youth Outreach Unlimited and Readon now owned the entire house.
"'I promise you, man, you're going to get your house back,' This is what he told me," Fuller said. '"You're going to get your house back.'"
But it never happened.
Fuller only learned Readon sold the house for $380,000 when he did a property records search.
"I said, 'Eric, you sold my house,'" Fuller said. "He said, 'I got my own personal money tied up in this house,' and he said, 'I can't lose my money.'"
Readon canceled plans to speak to Local 10 News.
As Local 10 reported last month, others have said they gave Readon cash deposits to rent homes and buy cars and loaned him cash.
Some did get money back, but only after Local 10 began to ask questions.
The legal trouble against this pastor is mounting. According to court records, Blackrain Capital has filed suit against Readon and his church for fraud, negligence and theft.
The suit claims Blackrain entered into a joint venture to buy houses with the pastor. Blackrain fronted Readon money to buy houses and trusted him because he was "a man of God."
Another complaint was filed by Coastal Group Consultants.
An attorney for Blackrain said Readon never repaid or split proceeds from the sale of properties and Blackrain is out more than $100,000.
Court records also show Readon was ordered to take an anger management class after sending harassing and inappropriate emails in which he threatened an attorney and his staff over a custody issue concerning his son.
Court records show one of those e-mails contained a picture of a dead body.
Readon is known for showing up at tragic events around South Florida to preach about doing the right thing.
He has called the Local 10 newsroom and reporter Jeff Weinsier's cellphone several times.
The invitation to sit down with him and ask about his business practices still stands.
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