More allegations brought forth against South Florida pastor
Man evicting pastor says he was threatened with lawsuit if he spoke to media
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – There are more shocking allegations against a South Florida pastor following a Local 10 News investigation.
Several people have come forward accusing a Miami Gardens pastor, Eric Readon, of theft, forgery, writing bad checks and threatening them if they talk about it.
Readon is currently being evicted from a Miami Lakes house he's been renting since December, for not paying rent.
Alexis Arena and Atilio DiBabbo own the house at 7940 NW 156th Terrace, and claim Readon owes them $15,000.
DiBabbo told Local 10 News that Readon paid with several checks that have bounced.
DiBabbo provided Local 10 News with copies of the bad checks as proof.
Records show Readon was charged with writing worthless checks in 2010 and 2012.
According to texts, Readon threatened to sue DiBabbo if he talked to Local 10 News about the issue.
One text from Readon reads, "This can become a nightmare for you."
"He needs to give us our house back," DiBabbo said.
The eviction process is slowly going through the Miami Dade court system.
Lorenzo Johnson, another pastor, has also come forward, claiming that, in 2012, Readon stole a check from his office, forged it and deposited it.
Johnson only got his money back this year after placing a lien on Readon's church in Miami Gardens.
At the time, Johnson owned a day care center in Miami.
"The check was stolen from my office by Eric Readon and was written and cashed -- $9,000," Johnson said.
Johnson said Readon asked to borrow money and he said no.
Johnson claimed when he walked out the a day care office to attend to a matter involving a child, Readon stole the check.
"It was sitting on my desk," Johnson said.
Johnson filed a police report but decided not to pursue the issue criminally. Instead, he filed a civil suit to get the his money back.
According to the civil complaint, Readon made the check out to his church, forged the signature and deposited it.
Readon was ordered by the court to pay Johnson $9,000 plus interest.
Five years went by with nothing being paid until Johnson placed a lien on the church.
"I finally got my money back," Johnson said.
This is not the first story Local 10 News has done on Readon.
Earlier this year, people who called themselves victims said they gave Readon deposits to rent homes, buy cars and loaned him cash for church activities.
When things fell through, they claim, they couldn't get a refund.
Some got their money back after their stories aired on the news and they sued Readon in court.
But no story is as shocking as what Edward Fuller, 70, told Local 10 News that Readon did to him.
"I trusted him because he was a pastor," Fuller said.
As reported in July, Fuller, a retired postal employee, claims Readon made himself the contractor on a house Fuller was building in North Miami.
When Fuller ran out of money, he said Readon offered to get him loans.
But in order to do that, Fuller says Readon persuaded him to sign over the deed to the house.
Fuller says it was supposed to be temporary.
Instead, records show Readon sold the house for $380,000.
Fuller says Readon didn't tell him or give him a cent.
Fuller has now filed suit against Readon and his wife, Miami-Dade County school teacher Lakeshia Readon.
"Did they rip him off?" Local 10 investigative reporter Jeff Weinsier asked Fuller's attorney.
"Absolutely. The documentation confirms that. The evidence supports that. This is the classic elder abuse, quite frankly," Anthony Georges-Pierre said.
The suit also claims that Readon charged personal expenses on Fuller's credit card.
There is a charge to Geico, another to a car loan company and a charge of $3,600 to a Youth Outreach account.
Readon refused to speak with Local 10 News about the allegations.
He is suing the individuals who talked to Local 10 News in February for defamation and he is suing WPLG TV for $12.5 million.
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