Virginia executive accused of exploiting immigration detainees seeking bail faces fraud charges with brother Florida school shooter Nicholas Cruz.

The Augusta County Sheriff’s Office said Mike Donovan, CEO of Nexus Services in Verona, Va., was arrested Wednesday on fraud charges. The indictment states that the victim appears Zachary Cruz22, who lived with Donovan and his wife for several years, Richard Moorein Fishersville.

Moore, who is part owner and manager of Nexus, and three others have also been charged along with Donovan.

Donovan denies that Cruz was duped. He said the charges are retaliation for an effort he launched to expose corruption in the sheriff’s office and hold it accountable for two police shootings last year.

“I want to go to the jury. I’m going to call witnesses and I’m going to expose these people,” Donovan said in a phone interview Thursday.

Donovan and Moore adopted Zachary Cruz almost four years ago. Donovan said he met Zachary Cruz after learning he was facing a $500,000 bond on illegal skateboarding charges at the high school where the shooting occurred.

After getting to know him, they offered him a home in Virginia, and Donovan said he considers Cruz part of the family.

“When you see what he’s been through and what he’s been able to achieve, it’s very inspiring,” Donovan said.

He said he was offended by authorities’ belief that Zachary Cruz was mentally incapable of making decisions for himself.

A search warrant filed in May 2021 says Shenandoah Valley Social Services began an investigation last year after receiving a report that Donovan and Moore were financially exploiting Zachary Cruz.

The affidavit alleged that Cruz lacked the mental capacity to make his own financial decisions, even as an adult, and that a $428,000 inheritance he received after his mother’s death was diverted to other accounts.

Donovan said federal prosecutors investigated the allegations and exonerated him. He said that at this point the inheritance money has been spent and that Donovan and Moore are essentially supporting Cruz financially with a weekly stipend.

The county sheriff’s office did not return a call seeking comment on the situation Thursday.

Cruz could not be reached for comment Thursday. His attorney, Amina Matheny Willard, who also represents Donovan, denied that Cruz was a victim of his new family.

Last year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and three states, including Virginia, sued Donovan and his company, alleging that a subsidiary — Libre by Nexus — exploited detained immigrants by charging exorbitant fees to release them on bail. while they await the hearing. This litigation is ongoing.

Donovan has been vocal in his defense of his behavior. He says his company has helped tens of thousands of immigrants avoid lengthy detention while they await resolution in a broken immigration system.

Zachary’s older brother, Nikolas Cruz, pleaded guilty last year to the 2018 shooting deaths of 14 students and three staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

A trial is currently underway to determine if Nikolas Cruz will receive the death penalty. Defense attorneys say Nikolas Cruz suffered brain damage from his birth mother’s drinking while pregnant.

Zachary Cruz is two years younger and has the same birth date. Both were adopted and grew up together in Parkland. Witnesses at the trial testify to the unstable family life of the boys.

Zachary Cruz was named as a defense witness but was not called to testify.