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Convicted Minister Quits National Post

Nation IN BRIEF / FLORIDA

March 17, 1999|From Times Wire Reports

The Rev. Henry J. Lyons, president of one of the nation's largest and most influential black denominations, sobbed and apologized as he resigned two weeks after being convicted of swindling more than $4 million. "I'm just so sorry about all of this," he said quietly at a news conference outside his Bethel Metropolitan Baptist Church in St. Petersburg, Fla., where he told the board of the National Baptist Convention USA of his decision. Lyons was convicted Feb. 27 of racketeering for swindling corporations seeking to do business with convention members. The defense called the transactions failed business deals, not crimes.

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