Pastor of Lawrence church accused of embezzling

| February 6, 2010

LAWRENCE — The pastor of a Lawrence church, his wife, and the church’s secretary have been charged with embezzling almost $137,000 from the congregation’s bank account.

Police tell The Eagle-Tribune that the Rev. Isaias Rivera, pastor of Tabernaculo de Adoracion y Musica, and his wife, Vivian, were arrested on Thursday. Church secretary Kizzella Rivera turned herself in.

The three deny the charges. They were released on personal recognizance Friday after arraignment in Lawrence District Court. Defense attorney Tom Torrisi tells WHDH-TV the money will be accounted for and the trio will be vindicated.

The alleged embezzlement that took place between 2004 and 2009 was brought to the attention of authorities by officials with the Presbytery of Northern New England, which owns and runs the church.

Police say the suspects wrote checks to themselves from the church’s account.

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Category: Church Security

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