An arrest warrant has been issued for the pastor of a Camden Street church after the cleric failed to appear in court Aug. 24 on fraud and other charges, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said Tuesday.
The Rev. Amir Natson, 29, the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church at 119 Camden St., had been indicted for second-degree insurance fraud, second-degree conspiracy and third-degree wrongful impersonating.
In 2011, Natson, who also uses the name Bobby Natson, allegedly reported two lawsuits against the church and received $5,000 from the church’s insurance carrier, Church Mutual, for legal fees. The amount was the maximum allowable under the church’s policy.
Natson was indicted on Aug. 4 after authorities learned that no suits had actually been filed, the prosecutor’s office said.
Natson also submitted an earlier claim for damages to the church building which had not actually been sustained, a church employee reportedly told investigators.
Two different phone numbers listed for the church were out of service Tuesday.
According to the state Department of Corrections, Natson completed a two-year prison sentence in 2008 after being convicted of theft by deception.
Natson’s church was founded by the Rev. Westley Lee, who died in 2009. The beloved clergyman spent years growing the congregation and personally did much of the construction work on the church building itself.