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The legal counsel
Anthony Battaglia leads Grady Irvin, center, and F.Lee Bailey from the law offices of Battaglia on the way to the Pinellas County Jail. Rev. Henry Lyons is partially obscured at far left.
(Times photo: Mike Pease)

The Charges

By Times Staff

©St. Petersburg Times, published February 26, 2006

State prosecutors have accused National Baptist Convention USA president Henry Lyons of:

*Stealing nearly $200,000 intended to help burned churches, spending $25,000 of it on a female convention employee identified as "Lyons' paramour."

*Swindling nearly $3-million from corporations by inflating the number of NBC members and then selling them a phony mailing list of black church members that included a grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

*Extorting a half-million dollars from a cemetery company by invoking his friendship with President Clinton and threatening to denounce company officials from the steps of the Capitol.

*Hiding $4.8-million in a secret bank account, with no records of where the money came from or where it went.

*Giving black colleges far less money than he has claimed, instead spending donations on himself and his friends.

Lyons arrested • The charges •Some excerpts from the 82-page arrest affidavit Congregation stands by pastor of 25 years

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