Update: CFO Sink’s Call for Additional Information Results in New Charges for Jenson Beach Pastor, $500,000 Additional Bond
CONTACT: Tara Klimek or Kevin Cate
TALLAHASSEE— Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced today that additional charges have been filed against a Jensen Beach pastor and his wife in an ongoing investigation by the Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud (DFS), into allegations the couple bilked investors throughout central and south Florida out of more than $8 million in fraudulent real estate schemes. In the newest charges, Rodney and Shalonda McGill are accused of duping an elderly couple out of more than $100,000 worth of property and cash.
Following the McGills’ arrests in September, CFO Sink called on consumers who may have had dealings with the McGills to provide information. DFS investigators have received nearly 100 calls, and the investigation continues while the couple remains in the Martin County Jail with bond set at $1.73 million each, including $500,000 in bond added on Wednesday.
The McGills already face charges of Racketeering, first degree; Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering, first degree; Grand Theft, first degree; Grand Theft, third degree; and Obtaining a Mortgage by False Representation, third degree, for saddling investors with more than $1.15 million in mortgage loans by “flipping” properties in Martin and St. Lucie counties that the McGills sold using fraudulent loan applications.
The additional charges announced today, two counts of grand theft in the first degree, mean the McGills face up to 30 years each in prison as well as penalty enhancements provided by Florida law for theft from persons over the age of 65. The additional charges first degree felony charges were filed today by the Office of the State Attorney, 19th Judicial Circuit of Florida
The new charges stem from two real estate transactions in which the McGills’ actions allegedly caused Indian River County residents Clarence and Ella Mae Flemming to lose properties and money. The properties are located at 3650 47th St., Vero Beach (a five-acre parcel) and 6361 Summerset Ct., Jacksonville (a six-acre parcel).
In October 2005, the Flemings attended a “How to Invest in Real Estate” seminar hosted by Rodney and Shalonda McGill at the Stuart library. The Flemings told investigators they became very friendly with the McGills and grew to trust Rodney and Shalonda McGill, whom they regarded as family. Investigators said the McGills fraudulently executed a Satisfaction of Mortgage, dated May 30, 2006, for the Flemings’ 3650 47th. St., Vero Beach, property without providing the Flemings with the $157,000 proceeds from the sale.
Subsequent to the Vero Beach sale, the Flemings purchased a property located at 6361 Summerset Ct., Jacksonville, FL. Following the purchase, investigators said Rodney McGill illegally obtained a $125,000 mortgage in the Flemmings’ name on the Jacksonville property from a private money lender. In June 2006 the lender contacted the Flemings upon non-receipt of the first mortgage payment. The Flemings, unable to make the mortgage payment, lost the property in foreclosure. The Flemmings never authorized or requested the McGills to encumber the Jacksonville property in any manner nor did the Flemings receive loan proceeds from the McGills.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Ted Padich at (561) 837-5635 with the Division of Insurance Fraud or Investigator Steve Brignola at (561)837-5233, with the Office of Financial Regulation. The Office of Statewide Prosecution is prosecuting the charges.
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. CFO Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.