Bookie Forced Man to Rob Churches

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Bookie Forced Man to Rob Churches

Attorneys representing Joseph Grieco, 45, of Methuen, Massachusetts have notified a judge about the possible defense for their client, accused of scamming several area churches out of cash and gift cards.  His bookie made him do it!

From the Union Leader:

Grieco contends that any action he may have taken to get his hands on money was “necessary to avoid harm to himself by preventing his bookkeeper from hurting or killing him,” said public defender Philip Dreher in court papers. Dreher contends his client’s action amount to a “competing harms” defense.

Grieco pleaded not guilty and he remains free on bail.  He is accused of tricking the churches, including one in Kensington, into giving him money to take care of funeral arrangements for a deceased brother. 

Kensington Detective Scott Cain said, 

“Joe admitted he has a gambling problem and owes a gambling bookmaker over $8,000.  He said his bookmaker was going to kill him if he didn’t produce $1,000 by the end of the week. His bookmaker gave him the idea of how to scam churches for money.”

Grieco reportedly walked off with over $1500 total from the victimized churches. 

- Jagajeet Chiba,


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