UPDATE: Alleged unlicensed minister who allegedly misused credit cards in custody

James C. Stern
RI ACI photo via YPD

YARMOUTHFrom Yarmouth Police: Attached is the booking photograph of James C. Stern courtesy of our Law Enforcement colleagues at Wakefield Rhode Island PD.

Stern, the wedding officiant who was featured Tuesday as being wanted by the YPD, is incarcerated at the Adult Correctional Institute (ACI) in Rhode Island awaiting his next court date on October 31st, 2018 at the 4th Division District Court in Wakefield.

The YPD will continue the prosecution process and work with Rhode Island Law Enforcement Officials and the Massachusetts State Police to have him arraigned in the Barnstable District Court sometime in the future.

Previous story: The Yarmouth Police Department has obtained a warrant for the arrest of James C. Stern, 39, of Portsmouth, Rhode Island for:

  • Larceny of $1,200 by False Pretense
  • Impersonating a Public Official (Justice of the Peace)

The warrant was granted Tuesday based on an investigation conducted by the Yarmouth Police Department Patrol Force and Detective Division as follows.

James C. Stern

Investigative Synopsis: On the evening of October 5, 2018, Yarmouth Police Department Patrol Officer Gordon Gibbons spoke with a woman who reported she had been married on September 15, 2018 at a resort in South Yarmouth. During the ceremony, her bridal party had been provided with a locked room to store their belongings. Later that same evening, several bridesmaids reported the misuse of their credit cards.

Officer Gibbons was also advised by the woman that the nondenominational minister who was the officiant at her wedding was James C. Stern of Portsmouth, Rhode Island.

A computer check of James C. Stern criminal record shows that Stern has 51 entries on his record in Massachusetts for similar crimes such as identity fraud, fraudulent use of a credit card, and related larceny charges dating back to June 1994. Additionally, Stern has an active warrant in New Jersey for Burglary and a lengthy criminal history in Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Yarmouth Police Department Detective Michael Wells conducted a follow-up investigation that determined that Stern had not been licensed in Massachusetts to officiate her wedding ceremony, consequently deeming her marriage invalid.

Stern was required to submit the license to the state within 10 days of the marriage and he had not. The Town of Yarmouth Clerks Office contacted the Secretary of State’s office to determine whether the officiant had been properly commissioned and was informed that he had not obtained a commission to perform the wedding.

The case is active and ongoing and additional charges may follow.

Anyone with information about Mr. Stern is urged to contact Yarmouth Police Detective Michael Wells at 5087750445 extension 2358 or by email at mwells@yarmouth.ma.us

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