Exodus 20:17 “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”
Proverbs 1:10-11 “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. 11 If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:
BRIDGEPORT – A former Stratford pastor is seeking mercy from a judge after he pleaded no contest Monday to fleecing nearly $400,000 from members of his flock.
Robert Genevicz, 67, the former religious leader of the Stratford Baptist Church, pleaded no contest before Superior Court Judge Robert Devlin to two counts of first-degree larceny and one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny.
His alleged Delilah – a gospel singer who the minister told detectives led him astray, Doraine Reed, 56, is still awaiting trial on larceny charges in the case.
Genevicz, who was known to parishioners as Pastor Bob, is accused of stealing nearly $200,000 – the life savings – of retired Stratford school teacher Patricia Stosak and $200,000 from the estate of 88-year-old Arthur Devack of Trumbull. Both have since died.
In 2009 Stosak, a widow and parishioner, agreed to let Genevicz take over control of her finances, giving him her power of attorney and conservator of her estate, according to probate records. But the arrest warrant affidavit states that the Stratford probate judge began to have questions about how Stosak’s money was being spent by the pastor.
Genevicz began withdrawing funds from Stosak’s bank accounts, the affidavit states. He claimed he “gifted” some of the money to his own church but could not account for it. Confronted by police, he admitted he gave $110,000 to Reed, the affidavit states. He said he often gave money to Reed and one time had used church funds to cash a check for Reed that was fraudulent, according to the affidavit.
Reed, who at one time worked for Helping Hand Home Care, was hired in 2010 as a live-in care giver for Devak, police said. Reed introduced Genevicz to Devack and shortly thereafter Devack signed over power of attorney to the former pastor, police said. That same day, police said Genevicz closed a bank account Devack held jointly with his daughter and opened a new account under his name.
Police said Genevicz and Reed took out loans under Devack’s name to buy a white 1999 Mercedes roadster for him and a 2006 black Mercedes sedan for her. Read it all here.