1/28/13 – TG: Alamo’s wife wants court to reject subpoena

Texarkana Gazette
January 28, 2013
By: Lynn LaRowe – Texarkana Gazette

Alamo’s wife wants court to reject subpoena
Lawyer says request for financial records too broad

Sharon Alamo, wife of imprisoned evangelist Tony Alamo, doesn’t want to give testimony or hand over documents concerning her financial affairs, according to recent filings in a civil law suit.

Tony Alamo was found guilty by a jury in June 2011 of conspiracy, battery and outrage in a civil suit filed on behalf of two men who were raised in Alamo’s ministry.

The jury awarded each man $3 million in actual damages and $30 million apiece in punitive damages.

The large punitive damages award was later reduced by an appellate court to $12 million for each man, but the actual damages were left intact.

On Jan. 14, Sharon Alamo filed a motion in the case asking the court to toss out or restrict a subpoena for her and her financial records.

Sharon Alamo’s attorney, John Rogers of the Clayton, Mo., firm Rosenblum, Schwartz, Rogers & Glass, argues that the subpoena for a deposition and financial records is too broad.

Rogers’ motion to quash the subpoena for Sharon Alamo points out that she wasn’t a party to the lawsuit filed by Spencer Ondrisek and Seth Calagna and that she isn’t liable for the judgment levied against Tony Alamo.

Rogers’ motion states the subpoena attempts to get Sharon Alamo “to produce documents that have no bearing on their attempts to collect money from a man that Ms. Alamo considers a husband in the spiritual sense, but whose ‘marriage’ has no legal effect.”

At Alamo’s criminal trial on a 10-count indictment alleging he brought women he wed as children across state lines for sex, Sharon Alamo testified that she and Tony Alamo had never legally married, but she did consider herself Tony Alamo’s spiritual wife.

Tony Alamo was convicted and is serving a 175-year federal prison sentence.

Rogers’ motion also seeks a court order protecting Sharon Alamo from questions about her personal assets and finances because the requests for information made by Texarkana lawyer David Carter, who represents Ondrisek and Calagna, are “unduly burdensome, oppressive and appear aimed at harassment and annoyance.”

The motion accuses Carter of attempting to get a “bonus deposition” out of Sharon Alamo, which he can use in another civil suit filed on behalf of former child wives of Tony Alamo in which Carter is a representative of the plaintiffs.

Carter filed a response to Sharon Alamo’s motion Friday.

Carter describes Sharon Alamo as “a key participant in defendant (Tony)Alamo’s scheme to defraud creditors and insulate himself from financial responsibilities,” in his response to Rogers’ motion.

Carter alleges that some church properties are held in Sharon Alamo’s name, that she communicates with Tony Alamo’s tax attorney, has maintained and delivered cashier’s checks to the church’s bookkeeper, instructed the church’s bookkeeper, co-owns a house with one of Tony Alamo’s other spiritual wives and made other decisions concerning changing owners’ names on properties.

“Simply put, Sharon Alamo has for decades helped her husband perpetuate a complex and massive fraud in an attempt to avoid execution on judgments that might be entered against defendant,” Carter’s response states.

Carter alleges that after church properties were seized in the 1990s to satisfy judgments against Tony Alamo involving the abuse of church members, the group began a practice of placing properties and businesses in the names of loyal Alamo followers.

Carter argues that the church maintains stacks of “quitclaim” deeds in whose names properties are held.

That allows the group to transfer ownership in the event a property-owning member falls from the group’s graces, Carter states.

Church members’ needs are provided for with goods and services purchased from the bookkeeper account, Carter’s response states. No salaries are paid, and any money earned is pooled into the bookkeeper account. Members live on properties owned by other members and allegedly controlled by Tony Alamo.

“First it was (Sharon Alamo) and her husband who chose to create the elaborate ‘communal’ society and fraudulent deed scheme,” Carter’s response states.

“Having yoked herself to defendant as a wife, money manager and title holder to some of his properties, (Sharon Alamo’s) bitter wails about providing discovery on her role ring hollow.”

If the plaintiffs are able to convince the court that properties and businesses owned by church members are actually under the control of Tony Alamo, the assets could be seized and liquidated to satisfy the $30 million judgment Tony Alamo owes Ondrisek and Calagna.

The case is pending before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant in the Texarkana division of the Western District of Arkansas.

In: 2013, Breaking News

| 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.