The director of a venerable church in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood is facing charges that he took over the church and intimidated its members while he and his associates looted its coffers.
Police arrested Edward J. MacKenzie Jr., 54, of Weymouth today after a federal grand jury indicted him on more than a dozen charges, including racketeering, mail fraud, money laundering, extortion, and bribery, prosecutors said.
MacKenzie is the director of the Boston Society of the New Jerusalem, which operates the Church on the Hill on Bowdoin Street, US Attorney Carmen Ortiz’s office said in a statement. The Swedenborgian church is just across the street from the Massachusetts State House.
Fyi: This has been a long unfolding saga at Church on the Hill, almost like a bad nightmare come true for a church that one day found out it was no longer in charge of its own workings and destiny. … By all means, read Peter’s column on Eddie MacKenzie. He’s a real-throwback character with distant ties to the entire Whitey Bulger era.