6/22/10 – TG: Judge orders probe of Alamo-linked warehouse

Texarkana Gazette
June 22, 2010
By: Lynn LaRowe

Judge orders probe of Alamo-linked warehouse

A federal judge has ordered the inspection and inventory of a Booneville, Ark., warehouse linked to Tony Alamo Christian Ministries.

Inside the warehouse are supposed to be Tempur-Pedic mattresses, pillows and slippers that are the subject of a federal lawsuit naming a high-ranking member of Alamo Ministries and a ministry-associated charity among the defendants.

Tempur-Pedic filed the suit in 2007 after goods the company donated for victims of Hurricane Katrina began appearing for sale. An injunction preventing Action Distributors, which controls the warehouse in Booneville, was issued in March 2007 prohibiting the defendants from moving, selling or destroying the goods.

Last week, Closeout Surplus and Savings, a defendant in the suit that claims to have puchased $500,000 in mattresses from Action Distributors principal Tommy Scarcello, was granted a motion to inspect and inventory the goods in the Booneville warehouse. The inventory will be conducted by Tempur-Pedic and Closeout Surplus and Savings jointly, said the order signed June 17 by U.S. Magistrate Judge James Marschewski in the Fort Smith division of the Western District of Arkansas. The inspection is to be conducted within 45 days.

The order directs Action Distributors to “accommodate the Tempur-Pedic and CSS representatives.”

Witnesses testified at Tony Alamo’s criminal trial that Action Distributors is run for the benefit of Alamo Ministries. Alamo was convicted in July of 10 federal charges of bringing young girls across state lines for sex. He is serving a 175-year sentence at a federal prison in Tucson, Ariz.

In 2008, the Tempur-Pedic lawsuit came to a halt when Scarcello, Waste to Charity and other defendants filed for bankruptcy.

Since then Scarcello’s bankruptcy case has been reopened amid allegations he may have fraudulently underreported his assets or wrongfully transferred assets before filing for debt relief.

An entry on the docket in Scarcello’s bankruptcy case indicates a “criminal referral” was made by the trustee in December 2009 after a hearing was held to review documents the court ordered Scarcello to produce.

In the motion, CSS lawyers say Scarcello is nowhere to be found.

“In an effort to inspect the Booneville warehouse without judicial involvement, counsel for CSS contacted Mr. Scarcello’s bankruptcy attorney, Darrell W. Johnson of Fort Smith, Ark.,” the motion said. “Mr. Johnson, however, said that he only represented Mr. Scarcello in the bankruptcy matter, that he was not aware of the Booneville warehouse, that he had no reliable means of contacting Mr. Scarcello, that Mr. Scarcello was traveling and that he did not believe that he could arrange for an inspection of the Booneville warehouse.”

The attorney representing Closeout Surplus and Savings did not respond to a call Monday.

According to court documents, Scarcello does not have a lawyer representing him in the mattress lawsuit and Action Distributors has “defaulted and is not participating in the litigation.”

In: 2010

| Back to Top |
Want to help?

Click the button!

Post A Comment

Please note: All comments are moderated. There is no need to resubmit your comment. Please submit a well thought out post with proper punctuation and spelling, so that it can be reviewed and posted promptly (as space allows).

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.