Men who took in Parkland shooter’s brother accused of taking advantage of him

A Virginia couple who took in the brother of the Parkland school shooter is now accused of taking financial advantage of him.

VERONA, Va. – A Virginia couple who took in the brother of the Parkland school shooter is now accused of taking financial advantage of him.

Richard Moore and Michael Donovan, both 45, took Zachary Cruz into their Fishersville, Virginia home after the 2018 massacre and were arrested Wednesday in Augusta County.

Moore has also made appearances at the death penalty trial of Nikolas Cruz, which was ongoing Thursday, and frequently spoke with him on the phone while in jail.

From left: Zachary Cruz and Richard Moore. (WPLG)

Augusta County Sheriff Donald L. Smith said that a number of search warrants were executed in the county on Wednesday, including at Nexus Services in Verona, Virginia, a company co-owned by Moore and Donovan that offers services to immigrants detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Both men are charged with obtaining money by false pretense and conspiracy to commit a felony.

Virginia deputies also arrested three other men in the sweep.

According to a charging document, Moore is accused of “unlawfully, feloniously and with the intent to defraud, willfully (conspiring) or (combining) with another to obtain U.S. Currency, valued at $1000.00 or more and belonging to Zachary Paul Cruz, by a false pretense” and says Moore knew, or should have knew that Zachary Cruz “suffers mental incapacity.”

October 5, 2022 Increased Law Enforcement Presence in the Fishersville and Verona Area The Augusta County Sheriff’s...

Posted by Augusta County Sheriff's Office - Sheriff Donald L. Smith on Wednesday, October 5, 2022

ABC affiliate WHSV in Harrisonburg, Virginia spoke to Donovan, who claimed that officials searched three locations, including Nexus Services and his home.

Donovan told the station that he wasn’t sure what the “obtaining money by false pretense” charges were in reference to and called the raid an “opportunity to score a political hit job” for officials in Augusta County.

Moore and Donovan were released on $50,000 secured bond.

Parkland school shooter trial interactive graphic:

About the Authors:

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.

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