JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The former manager of an Atlantic Beach cemetery who failed to show up for his trial on grand theft charges in April was captured Friday and made his first appearance before a judge Saturday morning.
The I-TEAM was there when Nader “John” Rayan was arrested Friday after being found around 7:30 a.m., hiding in the attic of a home that he shared with his wife and children.
Rayan was initially arrested after a series of I-TEAM investigations revealed more than 70 complaints against him and his wife, who used to own Beaches Memorial Park and First Coast Funeral home in Atlantic Beach.
Those complaints from customers accused Rayan and his wife of either mistreatment, overcharging or simply not providing services that had been paid for.
Rayan was supposed to go to trial April 17 on 15 counts of grand theft and one count of schemes to defraud, but he failed to appear in court a week earlier for a pre-trial hearing. His $1 million bond was revoked and another warrant was issued for his arrest.
The I-TEAM learned that Rayan went on vacation to celebrate spring break with his family, instead of appearing in court.
Police and the bail bond agents who posted his bail had been looking for him since then, and a tip led agents with Willing to Bond Bail Bonds to the Arlington home where he was captured.
When the agents entered the home, they spotted Rayan's wife and three children and searched room-to-room for Rayan, wearing GoPro cameras. They told his wife her best bet would be to just tell them where Rayan was, but she said only, "Go talk to his momma."
The agents searched through closets and the garage before one of them found Rayan in the attic. He can be seen on video crawling through a small opening in the ceiling.
Minutes later, he was led from the home in handcuffs.
When the I-TEAM questioned Rayan about where he had been the last several months, he lunged forward at our crew, saying "Hey, get away," before being pulled back.
Rayan made his first appearance in court Saturday morning, which lasted only seconds. He will next be in court for arraignment on Oct. 30.
Rayan's wife, Amanda Rayan, was arrested last September and is currently awaiting trial on 45 charges involving accusations she forged death certificates, one count of schemes to defraud and one count of criminal use of personal identification.
Beaches Memorial Park and First Coast Funeral Home are now under new ownership.