More details emerged Saturday on the re-arrest of Vacaville Pastor Mark Lewis on allegations that he fraudulently posted $500,000 bail in connection with his alleged involvement in the firebombing of a house where his ex-girlfriend had been staying.
Lewis, 39, was arrested and booked into Solano County Jail on suspicion of making a false financial statement, perjury, and attempting to record a false or forged instrument after the District Attorney's Office began investigating the source of funds he used to post bail on Jan. 11, two days after the firebombing incident that led to his initial arrest along with three alleged cohorts.
In a press release Saturday, Vacaville authorities said Lewis used the church property as collateral to fraudulently post the bail by securing the property of Fellowship Baptist Church , 3321 Farrell Road and 6657 Gibson Canyon Road in Vacaville.
"A Deed of Trust for both properties was recorded in Mark Lewis's name with the Solano County Recorder/Assessor's Office in order to secure his bond," the release explained. "This Deed of Trust was changed and a new Deed of Trust was drafted by California Bail Bonds on (Jan. 11), the day Mark Lewis posted bail. The "Trustor" listed on the 2014 Deed of Trust was Pastor Mark Lewis and Treasurer Danny Lewis. Danny Lewis is Mark Lewis's uncle.
Saying the "paperwork provided to the bail bond company did not appear legitimate," investigators said that officers with the Solano County District Attorney's Office decided to investigate. What they found was thatFellowship Baptist Church, Inc., the name utilized by the Fellowship Baptist Church in Vacaville, did not appear to be a legitimate corporation.
"It was determined that Fellowship Baptist Church, Inc. was actually a name associated with a Baptist church in Riverside, California, and not Vacaville. Corporation numbers being utilized by the Fellowship Baptist Church in Vacaville also belonged to the Baptist Church in Riverside as well," the police press release noted. "The California Secretary of State's office also confirmed that Fellowship Baptist Church at 3321 Farrell Road in Vacaville had never filed for non-profit 501(C) (3) status, through the Attorney General's Office. Further investigation revealed loans secured in the name of Fellowship Baptist Church in Vacaville may have also used the identity and corporation numbers of the same church in Riverside."
Lewis was one of four people arrested in connection with the Jan. 9 attack in the 700 block of Chateau Circle. Three Sacramento-area transients arrested near the scene told police they had been staying at his church. Investigators searched the property and linked evidence to Lewis, who has continued to maintain his innocence, insisting to various media outlets that he had nothing to do with the firebombing.
This investigation in the case is ongoing and anyone with information is urged to call the Vacaville Police Department at 449-5200 or Investigator Vicki Rister with the Solano County DA's Office at 784-680