In Your Corner Update: OK preacher victimized twice

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Update: Earlier this year we told you about an Oklahoma contractor in hot water.

Ronald Roberts is charged with grand larceny in Garfield County after a rancher says he caught Roberts trying to swipe his farm equipment.

We launched our In Your Corner investigation into Roberts because of another criminal complaint.

Pastor Brent Avery says, “[He] represented his business as being faith based, Christian based organization and that kind of appealed to me as a believer.”

Pastor Avery is a tornado victim and says Roberts swindled him out of $40,000.

“We’re not getting our money back from him,” he says. “I know that, but if I can stop him and protect someone else, that’s kind of where we’re at.”

Roberts was locked up in the Garfield county jail, but shortly after our report aired the contractor posted bond.

We know he didn’t stay a free man for long.

Roberts was arrested, again.

This time in Oklahoma City for DUI and possession of drug paraphernalia, charges he later pleaded guilty to.   

He’s since been hauled back to Garfield County where he remains locked up.

Pastor Avery is still out the cash he gave Roberts and still waiting on authorities to file criminal charges against related to his complaint.  

We’ll keep you posted on things.

MOORE, OKLA. – Most of us watched the horrifying images play out on live TV.

We all remember the tornado path and the iconic image of the lone inferno in its aftermath.

That was Pastor Brent Avery’s rental home.

“The tornado hit on Monday,” he said. “We weren’t able to get to the property until a couple weeks later when we returned from a trip from Israel.”

The preacher and his wife were in the holy land leading a tour group.

When they returned to Oklahoma , they say Ronald Roberts snared them into a rebuild contract totaling more than $100,000.

Pastor Avery said, “[He] represented his business as being faith based, Christian based organization and that kind of appealed to me as a believer.”

In the end, the preacher says he was duped by Roberts to the tune of about $40,000.

“The reality was after he left the lot in the condition it was and took the money from us we no longer had the ability to rebuild,” Avery said.

Roberts not only says he’s a religious man, but claims to travel the country helping natural disaster victims do “clean up, demolition, restoration and rebuilds.”

On his website he lists big name clients like BP, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA, and Chesapeake.

We did some checking.

None of the companies or government agencies we talked to have any ties to Roberts or his company.

They say he’s using their logos without permission.

Roberts is becoming a regular on our news channel.

Last month he was held at gunpoint by a rancher in Garfield County.

“He was stealing stuff that I worked hard for and based on his size, that was a weapon to me,” Mike Diel said.

Pastor Avery saw our report.

“Ron was a college football player,” he said. He’s a big guy, two of me, so when that rancher pulled out his gun and said, ‘Get on the ground.’ That was a wise move. He’s a big boy.”

We can’t talk to Roberts because he’s still locked up in the Garfield County jail.

Meanwhile, back in Moore, Pastor Avery was forced to sell his property because he no longer has enough money to rebuild.

“We’re not getting our money back from him,” he said. “I know that, but if it can stop him and protect someone else, that’s kind of where we’re at.”

Pastor Avery is already shopping around for new rental properties.

As it stands now, Roberts posted bond in Garfield County, but authorities won’t release him because he’s wanted in Mcclain County on a separate domestic assault and battery case.

Officials there tell me they plan to extradite Roberts in the coming week.

We’ll check back.

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