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Boston Church Official Faces Racketeering Charges

This article is more than 7 years old.

A Boston church official who once claimed to be an associate of mobster James "Whitey" Bulger has been arrested on charges of stealing money from the church.

Federal prosecutors say Edward MacKenzie Jr. was arrested at his Weymouth home Wednesday after being indicted on charges including racketeering and extortion.

The 54-year-old MacKenzie was the director of operations at the Boston Society of the New Jerusalem Church, which is affiliated with the Swedenborgian denomination.

Federal authorities say he was appointed to the salaried position in 2003 and "began to systematically loot the church of its considerable financial assets through a combination of fraud, deceit, extortion, theft and bribery." He also allegedly threatened other members.

A message could not be left on MacKenzie's home voice mail. It's not clear if he has a lawyer.

This program aired on May 22, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.

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