Pastor who secretly sold church faces more charges

Pastor faces more charges
Man accused of secretly selling church property expected to be arraigned

RIPON — A former Ripon pastor, already accused of embezzlement in connection with secretly selling church property, is expected to be arraigned today on additional charges stemming from the same case.

Randall Radic, 52, was arrested Friday on charges of embezzlement and fraud involving the unauthorized sale of a parsonage owned by Ripon’s First Congregational Church, San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Phil Urie said.

Radic’s bail has been set at $1.5 million. His Stockton-based attorney, Michael Babitzke, could not be reached for comment Monday, and church board member David Prater declined comment.

Radic was pastor of First Congregational for about 10 years. He recently resigned the post.

Police opened an investigation Oct. 20 after a church director contacted the department about suspicious activity from a Modesto bank account under First Congregational’s name. Church directors never authorized such an account to be opened, police said.

Ripon police said they discovered Radic had sold the church building at 100 N. Acacia Ave. and a small house near it to unsuspecting buyers for about $525,000. The church board never approved or even knew of that sale, police said.

Radic used some of the money to buy a new BMW car worth about $102,000, according to police.

He eventually turned himself in to the district attorney’s office, pleaded not guilty to embezzlement and fraud charges, and was released on his own recognizance.

Investigators believe Radic sold the church parsonage at 137 N. Elm Ave. in 2002 using forged documents and without the church board’s consent or knowledge, Urie said. The parsonage is about two blocks from First Congregational.

Police have recovered about $357,000 in cash and seized the BMW in the case, but either the church or investors could lose up to about $275,000, according to Urie.

“Somebody is going to get hurt here financially very badly,” he said.

Radic has contributed Bible-study writings to the Web site Grace Notes.

According to the site, Radic earned a bachelor’s degree in classics from the University of Arizona and a degree in biblical studies from Belleview Christian College in Westminster, Colo. He went on to receive a master’s degree in ministry and a doctorate in theology at other institutions, the site said.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
Stockton Record, USA
Nov. 8, 2005
Neil Gonzalez

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This post was last updated: Monday, November 30, -0001 at 12:00 AM, Central European Time (CET)