Appeal court orders Miami Gardens pastor to pay legal fees


PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – The Third District Court of Appeal has sided with WPLG TV and ordered Miami Gardens Pastor Eric Readon and his attorneys to pay $73,372.29 plus interest for attorneys’ fees and court costs WPLG incurred.

Back in 2017, Pastor Readon filed a $50 million lawsuit against WPLG claiming several stories broadcast about him and his business practices ruined his reputation.

Readon claimed any business practices he was involved in he was not doing in his capacity as a “pastor.”

Readon is the pastor of the New Beginning Missionary Baptist Church in Miami Gardens.

In 2020, Readon’s case against WPLG was dismissed with prejudice, meaning dismissed permanently.

It was determined WPLG’s reporting on him was accurate.

Readon and his attorneys ordered to pay WPLG TV fees and court costs.

Readon and his attorney Andrew Kassier asked the Third District Court of Appeal to reverse the trial court’s decision.

Another of his attorneys, Lawrence J. Shapiro, who was not ordered to pay the station’s fees and costs, asked the Third District Court of Appeal to affirm, claiming he was not largely involved in the suit.

Wednesday the Third District Court of Appeal not only ordered Readon and Kassier to pay the fees but also said Shapiro had to as well.

As we reported, Readon was court-ordered to pay Lorenzo Johnson $9,000 plus interest after Readon allegedly stole a check out of Johnson’s daycare office, forged it, and deposited it.

In another case, Readon was ordered to pay $3,000 plus interest to Latasha Blue for failing to deliver a car he was allegedly selling her. Blue said despite the judgment, she hasn’t been paid.

Then there was 70-year-old Edward Fuller who claimed that Pastor Readon, through his non-profit organization, made himself a contractor on a house Fuller was building.

Fuller claims Readon persuaded him to sign over the deed to the house temporarily so they could get loans. Fuller told Local 10 that Readon then sold that house for $380,000 without telling him and not giving him a red cent.

“I promise you, you gonna get your house back,” Fuller said. “That is what he told me.”

We asked Fuller if he was more trusting of Readon because he was a pastor. Fuller’s response? “Most definitely, yes.”

Readon bounced several rent checks on a Miami Lakes house he was renting.

According to a police report, he also bounced a check to a roofer who worked on a house he owned in Miami Gardens.

Other people told us they gave Readon cash deposits to rent homes, and buy cars. They loaned him cash for church events. When things fell through and they demanded refunds, Readon would call them up and say:

“You think you can come after me? You don’t know who you are dealing with,” people we spoke with in 2017 told us.

One person said he told them he was coming after them and their job.

WPLG attorney Karen Kammer said: “I think the takeaway from this litigation is that truth always prevails and when a news organization reports the truth, even though the subject doesn’t like it, the First Amendment protects that reporting as it should.”

In February 2022, Pastor Readon was arrested in Miami Dade County on charges of organized fraud, organized scheme to defraud, exploitation of the elderly, theft from the elderly, and grand theft. He is awaiting trial.

According to court records a status in the case is set for June 5th.

In Broward, Pastor Readon is charged with organized fraud, 2 counts of grand theft, and one count of filing a false document.

According to an arrest affidavit, Readon allegedly filed forged warranty deeds to take over a $1 million Davie home belonging to Janette Spence.

He is awaiting trial on that case as well.

Kassier had no comment, and Shapiro had yet to respond to a request for comment when this story was published on Friday morning.

About the Author:

Jeff Weinsier joined Local 10 News in September 1994. He is currently an investigative reporter for Local 10. He is also responsible for the very popular Dirty Dining segments.