Boston Church Official, Former ‘Legbreaker,’ Accused of Looting Church, Bribery, Extortion

Such a nice wise guy.

A Boston church official who claimed in an autobiography that he was a leg-breaker for reputed gangster James “Whitey” Bulger has pleaded not guilty to charges that he looted the church’s assets.

Edward MacKenzie Jr. is the former director of operations at the Boston Society of the New Jerusalem Church, whose members belong to the Swedenborgian denomination.

MacKenzie was arrested last week after a grand jury indicted him on charges including racketeering and extortion.


The Patriot Ledger reported on Wednesday that

Federal authorities say MacKenzie worked with others to obtain a $200,000-a-year job at the church and then used the church’s money to give cash awards to his family members, cover a $50,000 loan for his legal expenses and buy cars for himself, a relative and another church member, according to the 44-page indictment.

He is also charged with taking bribes and kickbacks from vendors to do work at the Beacon Hill church, according to the indictment. One of those vendors allegedly installed a high-end aquarium at MacKenzie’s home and was paid with the church’s money.