1/25/10 – TG: Lawyers want Alamo to pay up. Prosecutors fear assests may be dissapated during appeal

Texarkana Gazette
January 25, 2010
By: Lynn LaRowe

Lawyers want Alamo to pay up

Prosecutors fear assests may be dissapated during appeal

Federal prosecutors are asking U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes to order Tony Alamo to immediately pay his fine, court costs and victim restitution despite his pending appeal.

“Based on testimony heard by this court at trial, the government has reason to believe assets controlled by Alamo may be dissipated or secreted during the pendency of this appeal,” states the motion signed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyra Jenner.

“Another district court has held payment of a bond pending appeal was proper where a criminal defendant had ‘questionable habits and a dubious ability to pay.’”

Alamo was fined $250,000 at his November sentencing and must pay $850 in court costs. This month, Alamo was ordered to pay each of the five Jane Does named in his 10-count indictment $500,000 each for a total of $2.5 million.

At the hearing, Barnes told Alamo payment would be “stayed” because of his pending appeal.

Payment would be expected if Alamo’s conviction still stands once his appeals are exhausted.

The government wants Alamo to pay the money now or deposit the funds into the court’s registry to guarantee they’ll be available if Alamo loses his appeals bid.

The government’s motion warns that Alamo’s history doesn’t bode well for future payment.

“Payment of the fine and restitution … is necessary in light of trial testimony about assets under Alamo’s control. Sharon Alamo and Sandford White testified at trial … that assets controlled by Alamo were placed in the names of various Alamo followers,” the motion states.

“According to Sanford White, transferring property to Alamo followers was done, ‘after Pastor Alamo spent four and a half years, four years in the federal prison and another six months in a halfway house …’”

Alamo served time for tax evasion.

The motion also refers to an 8th Circuit opinion written in a civil suit filed by the Miller family. Justin Miller was 12 when he was beaten publicly with a board at Alamo’s bidding.

“(There is) no evidence ‘the Foundation was ever even incorporated, but even if it was, the Foundation was formed solely for the purpose of shielding Mr. Alamo’s activities and/or was operating simply as an extension of Mr. Alamo,’ and ‘corporate books and records were manufactured and destroyed, in a fraudulent manner, solely on the command of Tony Alamo.’”

The government mentions four factors the court should consider.

The first concerns whether Alamo’s appeal is likely to succeed.

Barnes denied a motion Alamo filed asking for a new trial following his conviction.

Second, the court can consider whether Alamo will be harmed if he has to pay the money now.

“Defendant risks nothing by having the fines, costs and restitution held by the district court registry pending appeal,” the motion states.

“A third and compelling consideration is the enormous substantial harm to the five victims who have been awarded restitution. The court heard testimony about the victims’ under employment and lack of health insurance …” Jenner’s motion states. “These victims need immediate financial assistance.”

The last factor the government asks Barnes to evaluate is the public’s interest.

“The United States stands to lose recovery of the $250,000 fine and $850 special assessment if defendant is not required to immediately pay …” the motion states.

The defense hadn’t responded to the government’s motion as of Friday afternoon.

In: 2010

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