DuPage County prosecutors are seeking to revoke the bond of a minister awaiting trial on charges that he bilked members of his church.
Judge Blanche Hill Fawell today set a July 10 date for the bond revocation hearing for Howard Richmond, 51, of Naperville.
Richmond, the pastor of Life Reach Ministries church in Aurora, was charged in 2010 with fleecing three people out of $475,000, in a scheme in which he allegedly paid a bank employee to produce fake financial documents purporting that Richmond had millions of dollars, according to court documents.
He has been free on $250,000 bond, but he was charged earlier this month with deceptive practices and conspiracy. DuPage prosecutors now want to have his bond revoked or increased to $1 million.
The new charges allege that Richmond directed an associate to write a $114,000 personal check to the realty company that leased space to Richmond’s church. The check was to pay the realty company back rent, according to authorities. Richmond told the associate he would put $130,000 into the associate’s bank account, but he didn’t, and the check bounced, authorities said.
Richmond was already facing 10 felony counts in the 2010 case, including theft, financial institution fraud and deceptive practices for convincing three men, including a church member, to loan him almost a half-million dollars.
Recent court filings in that case allege that Richmond represented to the victims that he had millions of dollars in bank accounts, and that if they gave him money, he would repay the members with interest. One man, a Skokie doctor, gave Richmond $400,000, police said.