Investigation into Tyler pastor’s defrauding elderly couple leads to arrest of his son

Jerome Anthony Milton, 27
Jerome Anthony Milton, 27(Smith County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 7:44 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 17, 2022 at 7:49 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - A Tyler man was arrested in August on charges he used an elderly couple’s debit card without their knowledge or permission.

Jerome Anthony Milton, 27, is charged with credit/debit card abuse against an elderly individual, a third-degree felony. He is the son of Rev. Jerome Milton, the pastor of Open Door Bible Church in Tyler who is currently serving 10 years probation and 180 days in the Smith County Jail after being arrested on charges of credit card or debit card abuse of elderly, among other charges.

An elderly Tyler couple who had health issues including dementia and a debilitating fall were being cared for by their pastor, Rev. Milton.

Rev. Milton had power of attorney for the Browns, and had asked two other church members to help him look after the elderly couple that he was ultimately accused of defrauding after one of the church members alerted the couple’s son, who reported it to Tyler police.

An investigation uncovered that Milton had written checks to himself from their account and deposited them into his own personal and church accounts. The affidavit also says he had used the couple’s bank cards for numerous ATM transactions to withdraw cash from March 2021 until July 2021.

As investigators reviewed surveillance video from ATMs in Milton’s case, it showed that sometimes the person making the withdrawals was Rev. Milton’s son, Jerome Anthony Milton, 27. Rev. Milton reviewed the images and agreed that the person using the couple’s ATM cards was his son. He said he sometimes would send Anthony, as he is called, to pull money out of the ATM from the Browns’ accounts, according to the affidavit.

On June 18, the couple’s debit card was used four times in a row at Walmart on Troup Highway. The person using the card in those transactions, during which a total of $300 cash back was received, was Jerome Anthony Milton, the affidavit says. Rev. Milton identified his son as the person in the surveillance video, and said he did not know why Anthony would have made those transactions.

Jerome Anthony Milton was arrested on August 15. His bond was set at $125,000. He was released the same day.

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