MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A Miami Gardens pastor facing a new fraud charge Wednesday declined to comment and gave a thumbs-up as he walked out of a Miami-Dade County jail.
Pastor Eric Readon, 46, turned himself in Tuesday after a judge issued a warrant when Readon didn’t appear for his arraignment on charges of grand theft, organized scheme to defraud and exploitation of the elderly from an arrest last week.
While in court Wednesday morning trying to get that warrant dropped, it was revealed there is another case that has been filed against Readon.
The new charge is related to suspected bad checks that Readon allegedly wrote to a roofer named Jose Macedo, which Local 10 News investigated in 2019.
Investigators from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement say Readon wrote two checks totaling $18,000 for roof repairs on a home he owned in Miami Gardens and then stopped payment, lying to Maceo about the reason why, saying his accounts were frozen by the IRS. A warrant called for Readon’s arrest on a third-degree felony charge of organized scheme to defraud less than $20,000.
He was released from Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami-Dade County before 6 p.m. Wednesday on bond that was set at $25,000 in that case. He first had to prove that his funds used to pay the bond were legitimate.
A source tells Local 10 News that Readon could also soon face fraud charges in Broward County.
An attorney for Readon was clearly unhappy to see Local 10 News cameras outside the courtroom Wednesday morning, moments after the second criminal case was revealed.
“You’re stupid and continue to be stupider,” attorney Nathan Diamond said when asked to comment. “Why don’t you just mind your own business.”
Readon was arrested last week when prosecutors said they had evidence he took advantage of an elderly man who was trying to obtain a mortgage or a line of credit to finish work on his home five years ago. Investigators say the pastor at New Beginning Missionary Baptist Church used his status as clergy and fleeced Edward Fuller out of his home and life savings, then also bilked a newlywed couple out of $3,000 in a rent-to-buy scheme for the same property on Northwest 19th Avenue in Miami.
An arrest affidavit says Readon used the cash to buy jet skis and pay his personal car insurance bills. When confronted by the couple, they say Readon threatened to sue.
“He really deserves what he’s getting now, because he caused a lot of pressure and a lot of pain on myself,” Fuller, 76, said last week.
Local 10 News has been investigating fraud allegations against Readon, including Fuller’s case, dating all the way back to 2017.
Readon filed a $50 million lawsuit against WPLG, claiming the investigative reports on him ruined his reputation. He lost in court and last spring was ordered to pay the station more than $70,000 after losing his appeal.