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Nation IN BRIEF / FLORIDA

Convicted Ex-Baptist Leader Drops Appeal

June 03, 1999|From Times Wire Reports

The disgraced former leader of the biggest black church group in the United States has dropped an appeal of his state theft and racketeering convictions, his lawyer said. Henry Lyons, 57, former president of the National Baptist Convention, was convicted Feb. 28 on state charges of defrauding about $4 million from companies hoping to do business with the church group. He began serving a 5 1/2-year sentence in a Florida prison March 31. He resigned March 16, a day before he pleaded guilty in a Pinellas County, Fla., court to five federal charges, including tax evasion and fraud.

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