June 1988 Amagram
Emerald Distributor and son of Tele-Evangelist Karl Strader of the Carpenters Home Church is taking time off from his quest to Diamond by serving 45 years in prison for fraud. It seems that making $100,000 a year in "residual income" as an Amway Distributor was not enough for his taste.
The Florida State prosecutors proved their case and convinced the jurors that Dan Strader devised an elaborate scheme to attract cash in real-estate and mortgage investments. He was selling the securities without a license and that the securities were unregistered. This was done in an organized method amounting to Racketeer-Influence and Corrupt Organizations, or RICO Act.
As a result Daniel Strader, 37, was sentenced to 45 years in prison in August 1995. He was convicted of 238 felony counts for bilking 57 mostly elderly investors, some members of the church, out of $2.3 million by selling investments in properties that didn't exist or already had liens against them.
The evil and wicked deeds of Dan Strader and his 238 counts of theft, fraud and racketeering will continue to haunt Carpenter's Home Church in Lakeland. Although Dan appealed his conviction the 2nd District Court of Appeal upheld the conviction and sentence in 1996. In 1999, Strader began a new appeal, contending he didn't get adequate representation from his lawyer, Jack Edmund of Bartow, during the 1995 trial. Strader alleged that his accomplice Pernice lied in his testimony during the trial at the prompting of prosecutors.
On April 1, 2002 Attorneys for Dan Strader have taken their case to federal court. They filed a motion in the Middle District of Florida in Tampa to have the court review the process of the state proceedings in the trial against Strader. Attorneys had appealed the case to the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Lakeland after Circuit Judge Donald Jacobsen turned down their post-conviction relief petition. Jacobsen was not the judge at Strader's trial, but in 2001 he ruled against Strader's request for a new trial. A three-judge panel from the appeal court upheld Jacobsen's ruling without comment in a decision released March 11, 2002.
The Lakeland Ledger reported that April was a bittersweet month for Karl Strader. On Easter Sunday, he marked his 35th anniversary as pastor of Carpenter's Home Church. A week earlier, the latest appeal by his convicted son, Daniel, was denied. In the twilight of his career, Karl David Strader is a living alloy of tradition and progress, success and loss.
In one generation, he has seen his Pentecostal tradition grow in numbers and in acceptance. And by most accounts, he has been an innovator, freely associating with faith groups outside Pentecostalism and borrowing ideas from them. He built an empire at Carpenter's Home in North Lakeland that has at times included a 10,000-seat sanctuary, a national TV audience, a private school and a retirement home. But his innovations were not appreciated by everyone, and 11 years ago, strife decimated Carpenter's Home. Today, the cavernous sanctuary is perhaps a quarter full on Sundays, and the TV broadcasts have been cut way back.
Strader bears an even deeper wound. Those who know him say the scandal surrounding his son's arrest and 1995 conviction on fraud charges have affected him more deeply than any other setback. Yet at 72, Strader soldiers on, preaching and laying hands on people who come forward in hopes of a healing touch. He says he will remain as pastor of Carpenter's Home as long as his health is good. He tells his congregation, "I'm past the age scripture tells me is given to us of three score and 10. But God has given me a wonderful life of health and strength. I'm shooting for 100."
But the Ledger also reported recently that the Carpenter's Home Church, under the leadership of Karl Strader, will be sold. It doesn't profit to be a thief and to raise up a thief! Yes, crime doesn't pay.
Dan was not an entrepreneur, he was a first class con artist who used religious words, quoted the Bible, prayed with and preyed on his victims. He modeled himself after his protégé and hero-his Dad, and did the things that the Senior Pastor and the Strader family did in Carpenter's Home Church continually. Unfortunately, there are others in the Assembly of God who do the same things, even pastors and superintendents.
The facts would later show the Straders for what they are and how they:
· Ignored the plight of the elderly victims and raise tens of thousands of dollars for Dan's legal defense.
· Ignored moral discrepancies in Dan's multiple admission of lying and guilt, and declare victory over their enemies, which never came.
· Identified the forces of darkness as anyone who would question their views and positions on matters, especially in regards to Dan's crimes.
· Ridiculed and lampooned Dan's victims, by deriding them for testifying against Dan.
· Arrogantly refused to admit doing any significant wrong and say it was the fault of others a conspiracy out to get them, because of who they are, high profile Christians.
· Repeatedly used the pulpit of Carpenter's Home church to issue misleading statements about Dan and others such as "we are being crucified by the press" and using lies and deceptions.
· Issued unbelievable hate and slander from a public pulpit, on three investors or victims, who were embezzled by a con artist.
· Used people and things in Carpenter's Home Church for their own hidden agendas. Jim, who was used by the Straders for his considerable talent, and to do the punishing work of building Carpenter's Home Church, then threw him out like a gum wrapper. Jim believed in checks and balances, and this was something that Karl and Dan Strader didn't do or practice. Therefore, they hated Jim for loving the truth, and sought a means, at all costs, even at the price of splitting the church, to see him removed from his position.
· Denied members and staff members access to elected deacons, and used others on staff as Roy Aldrich had written to work them over with "a rubber hose" for not submitting to their demands and wishes.
· Ensured that their salaries were confidential and their positions were maintained at all costs, while others less fortunate and more talented had to leave, even though they had given their best and expected a degree of respect for their loyalty and hard work. It wasn't what you did but who you know, and the same is true in churches today.
So it safe to assume that Dan Strader is not getting out of prison soon because who put him there is not stupid and neither are others?