Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Pastor faces forgery, embezzlement charges over $400K
RIPON, California — The leader of a Ripon church is currently facing four felony counts including embezzlement and forgery for underhandedly selling property owned by the church and pocketing the money.
Pastor Randy Radic, 52, turned himself in to the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office on Oct. 24 — four days after Ripon police investigators began looking into a tip from a church council member who had been contacted by a Modesto bank and informed that Radic had opened a church account there and deposited over $400,000.
According to Ripon Police Information Sergeant Ed Ormonde, Radic allegedly sold First Congregational Church — located at the intersection of Main and Acacia — for a price of $525,000.
In order to produce the necessary paperwork, investigators suspect that Radic forged sensitive documents that required the approval of the church council — a group that assumes a position similar to the Board of Directors of a corporation when it comes to business dealings.
After Radic had opened the account and deposited over $400,000, police believe he began to wire deposits to numerous other accounts that were eventually tracked and recovered.
Once taken into custody, police were able to recover more than $350,000 in cash as well as a 2006 BMW valued at more than $100,000.
“I’ve been with the department for almost 10 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” Ormonde said of the allegations made against the Pastor. “We deal with embezzlement quite often, but never on this scale”
Fortunately for those who have been longtime supporters of the church, the Manteca group who moved forward with the purchase will not be able to take possession because the necessary paperwork was fraudulent.
Ormonde said that the buyers have committed no crime in the dealings and have been cooperative with police throughout the investigation — and that he believes this is the largest land and monetary seizure ever made by the Ripon police.
Radic is currently not being held in custody based on an agreement that he made to turn himself over to the court upon request. He is being charged with embezzlement, embezzlement under false pretenses, forgery, and forgery of corporate documents.
Ormonde wouldn’t rule out the possibility that he couldn’t be arrested in the future.
See also, the never-ending chronicle of church-related crime.
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