Two Worcester County Men Sentenced for Trafficking Contraband Smokeless Tobacco To Evade Over $2 Million in Taxes
Boston - Edward J. MacKenzie, Jr., was arrested this morning after being indicted by a federal grand jury in Boston of racketeering, RICO conspiracy, mail fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy, extortion and bribery.
MacKenzie, 54, of Weymouth, is the Director of Operations for the Boston Society of the New Jerusalem (“Church”), also known as the Church on the Hill, a position he has held from 2003 to the present. 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 intimated and threatened individuals who were employed by and did work at the Church by in part, among other things, providing them with signed copies of this 2003 autobiography, Street Soldier: My Life as an Enforcer for Whitey Bulger and the Boston Irish Mob. According to the indictment, MacKenzie admitted to a lengthy criminal history in the book.
Additionally, it is alleged that in his capacity as Director of Operations, MacKenzie had authority for physical changes to the plant of the church and as such, he along with his co-conspirators, began voting to provide themselves and associates substantial financial benefits. These benefits included, but 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.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - Boston Field Office; and William Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary Hafer and Dustin Chao of Ortiz’s Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit.