• Dir. of Op. for Boston church indicted on racketeering charges


    BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) – The Director of Operations for the Boston Society of the New Jerusalem was arrested Wednesday morning after being indicted on racketeering, extortion, and conspiracy charges.

    Edward J. MacKenzie, Jr., 54, of Weymouth, has been indicted by a federal grand jury of racketeering, RICO conspiracy, mail fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy, extortion and bribery.

    MacKenzie has been the Dir. of Operations for the Boston Society of the New Jerusalem, also known as Church on the Hill, since 2003.

    According to the indictment, MacKenzie began to systematically loot the Church of its considerable financial assets through a combination of fraud, deceit, extortion, theft and bribery.

    MacKenzie also allegedly intimidated and threatened individuals who were employed by and did work at the Church. He provided some them with signed copies of this 2003 autobiography "Street Soldier" in which he admits to a lengthy criminal history.

    MacKenzie is also accused of making changes that financially benefitted himself and his coconspirators. The benefits included, but were not limited to, four new vehicles, cash awards for family members and tuition grants to family members.

    The indictment also alleges that MacKenzie and his co-conspirators solicited bribes and kickbacks from numerous commercial vendors for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    MacKenzie faces the maximum statutory penalty of up to 20 years in prison on each of the charges.

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