Imprisoned Baptist leader reaches divorce agreement

Posted: Friday, April 11, 2003

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) The Rev. Henry J. Lyons, the jailed former president of the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A. has reached a divorce agreement with wife Deborah.

Lyons is scheduled for release Nov. 30 after serving a state sentence for racketeering and grand theft and a concurrent federal term for fraud and tax evasion.

His wife stood by him during two years of state and federal investigations and trials. Court records show Lyons wanted his wife pay him alimony and return part of more than $6 million he owes victims in liens and judgments.

In the final agreement, described as amicable, Lyons accepted responsibility for that debt and $20,496 in unpaid state taxes, and will pay his ex-wife alimony of up to $14,400 a year.

The federal government seized the couple's St. Petersburg home, jewelry, cars and a $700,000 Tierra Verde home Lyons owned with another woman.

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