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Trial for fire commissioner postponed again
July 12, 2017

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The trial for a Lehigh Acres fire commissioner has been rescheduled for a second time.

Robert John Anderson, 51, of 1147 Cherokee Ave., was arrested and charged in August for reportedly stealing riding lawn movers from a Habitat for Humanity, at 31 Willis Road, North Fort Myers.

He is facing one count of larceny grand theft $300 less than $5,000, records state.

Anderson, who ran as "John Anderson," was elected to Seat 3 on the Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District's Board of Commissioners in the November election. His term expires in 2020.

Anderson's trial was originally set to begin on June 6, but was pushed back until July 6.

The State Attorney's Office reported today that his trial has been postponed again.

"It was moved to another trial cycle," spokeswoman Samantha Syoen said.

Jury selection for Anderson's trial is now set for Sept. 26.

On Aug. 8, a Lee County judge issued a warrant for Anderson's arrest.

According to the warrant, detectives "discovered that the six lawn mowers were donated by the Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District to the Habitat for Humanity and to be used by them only. Five of the lawn mowers were then under false pretenses, surreptitiously removed by Anderson for the sole purpose of depriving the victim (Habitat for Humanity) of the right and/or benefit of the property. At no time was Anderson given permission to or entitled to appropriate the five lawn mowers for his personal use and by removing them from the Habitat for Humanity store committed a grand theft."

On June 28, Anderson again found himself behind bars on charges unrelated to his August arrest.

He was arrested and charged with larceny grand theft $300 less than $5,000 and fraud swindle obtain property under $20,000, according to jail records. He has since been released on $10,000 bond.

According to his new arrest report, Anderson fraudulently obtained nearly $2,600.

Richard Anglickis, the owner of Heritage Group of Affiliated Companies, filed a sworn statement on Feb. 6 with the Lee County Sheriff's Office. He stated that starting in January 2015, Anderson began a systematic embezzlement of his corporate funds from the general checking accounts of his company.

According to the report, Anderson was hired for technical support. He had access to the company's office and computer accounts as he provided tech support for the telephones, computers and operating systems. Anderson also provided services for operations of the telemarketing and robocall business.

Anglickis noted that Anderson did not have permission to access any financial accounts.

According to the report, Anglickis discovered a shortage of funds in October 2016, which promoted him to conduct an account audit. Unauthorized charges were found and it was discovered that Anderson paid for his personal accounts to Comcast, Go Daddy, LCEC and FGUA using the company account.

If found guilty of a felony, Anderson would be removed from office under state law.

The grand theft charge he faces in the 2016 case is a third-degree felony.

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