RI police capture unlicensed minister accused of stealing bridesmaids’ identities

YARMOUTH, MASS. (WHDH) - A Rhode Island man accused of scamming a woman who hired him to be the officiant at her wedding has been captured.

James C. Stern, 39, of Portsmouth, was arrested by members of the Wakefield, Rhode Island Police Department on charges of larceny of $1,200 by false pretense, and impersonating a Justice of the Peace in connection with a wedding scam in September, according to Yarmouth police.

He has been incarcerated at the Adult Correctional Institute in Rhode Island and is due in 4th Division District Court in Wakefield on Oct. 31.

A woman called Yarmouth police Oct. 5 to report that several of the bridesmaids who participated in her Sept. 5 wedding at a resort in South Yarmouth had their credit cards improperly used in the weeks after the ceremony.

Soon after, police determined that Stern, who served as the officiant at her wedding, was not licensed to officiate weddings in Massachusetts and had 51 entries on his criminal record in Massachusetts for similar crimes including identity fraud, fraudulent use of a credit card, and related larceny charges dating back to June 1994.


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