According to reports, the Rock Church and Recovery Program in St. Petersburg was founded by a now-former pastor who also ran a sober living facility. While he was in charge, the man allegedly threatened to harm some of the tenants so they would agree to steal items that he reportedly planned to resell online.
The pastor reportedly set up an eBay store named “Anointed Liquidator” for the transactions. He allegedly had his mother and wife handle some of the sales, while two of the tenants from the sober living residence went to Home Depot stores in Citrus, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota Counties. They allegedly stole approximately $1.4 M worth of name-brand items by visiting the locations many times each day.
The Florida Attorney General’s Office worked with the Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement, and they investigated the alleged thefts.
In addition to the $1.4 M, they alleged that the former pastor ran the operation for at least a decade and stole over $5 M in goods during that time.
The former pastor was arrested for the allegations. He is facing charges of felony racketeering, felony conspiracy to commit racketeering, felony dealing in stolen property as an organizer, possession of cocaine, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
His wife and mother were also taken into custody. His wife is accused of conspiracy to RICO, and his mother is facing charges of dealing in stolen property.
The other two suspects were arrested for their alleged involvement, but it is believed that they performed the acts because they feared the pastor would harm them if they did not.
If you or someone you love is suspected of a theft offense, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.