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FL Pastor Arrested for Over $1M in COVID Relief Fund Fraud 

The Riviera Beach pastor allegedly used the money for airline tickets and car rentals.

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The pastor of First Baptist Church in Riviera Beach, Florida, was arrested for fraud involving over $1 million in COVID-19 Paycheck Protection Plan funds.

Holmer Altidor / Photo via Facebook @Holmer Altidor

Holmer Altidor allegedly formed two charities using the address of the church to obtain the PPP funds. However, he is accused of using the funds to purchase items like gasoline, airline tickets, car rentals, and fast food, according to reporting by WPTV.

“The loans he got, our investigation found [they] were undeserved and totaled over $1 million,” Ted Padich, an investigator for the Paycheck Protection Program fraud task force, said.

Altidor was arrested as part of an effort by the Paycheck Protection Program Task Force, a joint effort between the Florida State Attorney’s Office and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

The First Baptist Church of Riviera Beach was evicted from its building in May 2022. It apparently defaulted on a $1.2 million loan and the property was sold to a developer who tore down the building. It had served as a church for the city’s Haitian community.

According to the Florida Secretary of State’s office, a not-for-profit corporation reinstatement document for First Baptist Church of Riviera Beach was filed on February 9 by Altidor.

“A reinstatement application returns an administratively dissolved or revoked business entity to an active status” and updates the state’s records, the website says.

The PPP task force has been investigating cases since it was formed in 2022 and has made 11 arrests so far with a 12th expected soon.

State Attorney Dave Aronberg said there are more PPP fraud investigations underway, but admitted the fraud was so widespread that only a fraction of the perpetrators may be arrested.

MinistryWatch has reported on other cases of COVID-19 relief fund fraud. Those articles can be found here.

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Kim Roberts

Kim Roberts is a freelance writer who holds a Juris Doctorate from Baylor University. She has home schooled her three children and is happily married to her husband of 25 years.