Report: Search warrants on Virginia men tie back to Zachary Cruz’s inheritance

Richard Moore and Michael Donovan (WHSV/Augusta County Sheriff's Office)

STAUNTON, Va. – Search warrants served on a Virginia couple and three associates, accused of taking financial advantage of the brother of the Parkland school shooter, tie back to Zachary Cruz’s inheritance, according to ABC affiliate WHSV in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

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

Moore has made appearances at Nikolas Cruz’s ongoing death penalty trial and and frequently spoke with him on the phone while in jail.

The station obtained search warrants in court, showing that Zachary Cruz inherited more than $400,000 from insurance company MetLife after his mother died.

Moore and Donovan now face charges of obtaining money by false pretenses, conspiring to obtain money by false pretense, exploiting mental incapacity and conspiring to exploit a vulnerable adult, the station reports.

WHSV reports that Cruz opened a joint checking account with Moore. Afterward, the warrant states a MetLife representative spoke with an individual who represented himself as Cruz, but the warrant showed the FBI believed it was a man named Timothy Shipe, who was also arrested in Wednesday’s sweep.

The warrant states a friend and associate of Shipe’s told investigators Shipe was the one on the line and phone records showed the call was made from a phone registered to Shipe, the station reports.

WHSV reports that the warrant detailed instances in which Cruz said he did not give anyone direct permission to use the money.

The search warrant for Nexus Services, a company co-owned by Moore and Donovan in Verona, Virginia, also showed that an anonymous person made sexual assault allegations against the two, according to the station.

The allegations began in 2018 and the person said everything would have been caught on the company’s security cameras, which law enforcement seized, WHSV reports.

No sexual assault charges have been filed in the case.

Donovan told WHSV Wednesday that the raid was an “opportunity to score a political hit job” for officials in Augusta County, saying he intended to fight the charges.


About the Author:

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