(The Daily Observer)
Pastor Gavin Otto, who already has six fraud cases before the courts, will have to wait a few more months for the committal of another similar matter.
Otto’s first six fraud matters have already been committed to the High Court but he is set to appear in the St John’s Magistrate Court again in the seventh matter.
The court has adjourned the case for committal on October 18.
The latest incident, allegedly occurring in March 2023, revolves around Otto’s purported acceptance of over $15,000 from a man in exchange for a 40-foot container. However, the container was never delivered, leading to Otto’s arrest and subsequent charge.
The pastor’s legal woes are quite extensive, as the other six matters he faces involve charges of fraudulent conversion and obtaining money through false pretences. In these cases, it is alleged that he obtained money from multiple individuals for various services that he failed to provide.
One such instance involves a woman who claims to have paid $16,000 to Otto in February 2021 for two 40-foot storage containers. Months went by, and she never received the containers. When she contacted the defendant, he gave her a cheque that eventually bounced. After some insistence, Otto delivered only one of the two containers she had paid for.
Another set of allegations dates back to July 4 to August 26 2022, when the accused exchanged multiple cheques at the Bridge Service station, totalling over $20,000. All the cheques were returned due to insufficient funds in Otto’s account, according to reports.
Further investigations reportedly led officers to obtain a search warrant for Otto’s home in October. During the operation, he was observed jumping a fence and attempting to evade the police. However, the authorities managed to apprehend him, and various receipts and cheque stubs were discovered in his residence.
In July last year, the accused reportedly convinced another individual to purchase building materials from him. Otto only delivered $30,000 worth of materials and claimed he needed additional funds to clear the rest. The complainant paid him $99,000, but the materials were never provided. Instead, Otto handed over a $69,000 cheque that bounced when contacted.
Similarly, in September 2022, Otto allegedly duped a man out of $16,000 for four bundles of steel, but the buyer only received two bundles.
VEG International Hardware Store and another individual are also said to have fallen victim to the defendant’s alleged fraudulent schemes, losing thousands of dollars in the process.
The accused could be arraigned in those six matters anytime from September.