"Are things getting serious between you two? It sure looked like that way to me."
"Yeah, I'd say we're committed to seeing where it goes. He's pretty special." Marti smiled.
At 5:30pm, Marti got a callback from Steven Bradley, the former CFO of Serino Ministries. "You called me about a local story?" he said.
"Yes, I'm writing about TV evangelists and I know you worked for Rev. Serino who is based in Greenville. I was simply hoping you could confirm information that I have received and researched."
"Well, that is in the past. I no longer work for Serino," he said in a dismissive voice.
"Yes, congratulations on your new job. I believe you are a good source to confirm information, yet not have to reveal anything. All I need is for you to confirm information that has been presented to me. I have photos of cash boxes being unloaded at the Greenville airport. Can you confirm if your staff worked with cash boxes after each Serino speaking engagement?"
"Ed, the security guard, turned the boxes into accounting the following day of an engagement. That's standard practice for any ministry doing a revival."
"This photo shows a box of cash being placed into the trunk of Serino's limo. Did you ever log in cash boxes submitted by Serino?"
"No. The boxes were always together whether it was cash, checks or charge slips. Serino told me the boxes he took home were new member enrollment cards that would be added to his national database.
"I see. Were you aware of a shell corporation run by Mr. and Mrs. Serino that owns a corporate jet and several real estate properties?'
"No. I knew about the jet, I flew on it many times and I thought it was leased, but my responsibility was always to the church. I believe Mrs. Serino did the books for their private corporation." Marti nodded. Her instincts had been correct.
"I have photos and evidence that Serino is taking money from the church and using it to purchase commercial properties which he defines as nursing homes and orphanages."
"You have actual proof of this?"
"I have photos of a large shopping center in Jacksonville. He shows on the church website that a nursing home exists there which the ministry supports. In reality, there is no nursing home there or anywhere nearby. A theory I have is that the donations to the nursing home actually go in his pocket, and then he charges the actual tenant at that address rent, which also goes in the pocket. The church donates money every month to that cause doesn't it?"
"Yes, I never suspected that, a substantial amount of money goes to the support of things like that." Mr. Bradley sighed. "I always thought more cash should be coming in with each speaking engagement. But, when I asked about it, Serino said he encouraged check and credit cards because they pull in larger donations than cash."
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