Valley pastor ordered to pay back woman who hired him to move home

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By Jim Carr By Jim Carr

APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. -- “Are you a pastor?” Gary Harper asked Pastor Gerald Brenner. “Pastors do not steal money from people,” he continued.

Brenner didn’t respond.

In fact, he didn’t say anything when Gary caught up with him as he walked into an Apache Junction courtroom.

He was being sued by a woman named Veronica Dilena.

In our first 3 On Your Side report, Dilena told us that she hired Brenner because he was a pastor who said he moved mobile homes on the side and she needed her home moved.

In fact, she even paid him $4,100 in advance for a move that was supposed to have happened in May.
However, she claims Brenner never showed the day of the move.

“He never followed through,” she said. “He's just like, ‘Oh, that's not the date I told you, that's not the date we said.’ I was like, excuse me?”

3 On Your Side got involved and Brenner said it was a simple misunderstanding.

He even refunded Dilena $1,200 and promised to repay the rest.

“By the time this airs, they will be paid,” Brenner said in our September interview.

Well, the story did air, but Brenner never did pay the rest of the money.

So, Dilena and her husband took the issue to justice court where Brenner claimed he wanted to clear his name.   

One of his beefs was that he never misrepresented himself as a licensed mobile dealer, even though 3 On Your Side discovered that the state had actually sent him a cease and desist order telling him to “stop acting as a dealer or installer.”

Regardless, Brenner lost the case and was ordered to pay Dilena the rest of the money he took from her.

“The judgment's going to be in favor of the plaintiff for the principle balance of $2,900; court cost of $145,” the judge said.

Brenner wound up apologizing in court to Dilena and her husband and although he was quiet walking into court, he was pretty vocal on his way out.

“Great yay!” he said. “I don't mind. It was never a money thing. It was just the other accusations that were made that were false.”

“The only reason he paid us money was because the news got involved,” Dilena said after the hearing.”

Gary Harper: “And you're getting the rest of it because you sued him.”

Dilena: “Yeah.”