10/10/13 – TG: Video makes Alamo seem still in control

Texarkana Gazette
October 10, 2013
By: Jim Williamson – Texarkana Gazette

Video Makes Alamo seem still in control of Ministries

In recorded video testimony played Tuesday, Tony Alamo, who is serving a 175-year federal prison sentence, appeared to still control Tony Alamo Christian Ministries from prison.

The video of his interviews recorded in 2012 and in March 2013 show Alamo in control, explaining how he deals with church members who become dissatisfied.

“If they don’t like it here, get out. Don’t tangle with me,” Alamo said in the video interview.

“If they act like the antichrist and don’t serve the Lord, I get them out,” he said.

The video was used by lawyers David Carter and Neil Smith to show U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant how Alamo was in control of the ministries and remains in control while serving a federal prison sentence.

The lawyers represent Spencer Ondrisek and Seth Calagna, who lived in the Fouke compound and were beaten by church members periodically at the request of Alamo from 2002 to 2008.

The two men won a civil judgment and have been awarded $30 million. The lawsuit alleged Alamo had the two men beaten, starved, forced into unpaid labor and denied education as children raised by the ministry members.

In 2010, a jury found Alamo guilty of conspiracy, battery and outrage.

Alamo still owes millions in restitution to his victims of physical and sexual abuse.

However, the ministry members want the federal judge to reconsider an order requiring Tony Alamo Ministries to sell its properties to pay the $30 million judgment he owes the two men.

Ministry members testified the properties are owned collectively by church members and not by Tony Alamo.

Previously Bryant ruled the properties, although placed in the names of members, were actually bought and controlled by Alamo. They include a church building, a gym, a restaurant and houses in Fort Smith and a compound in Fouke.

Angela Morales said her name is listed on the deed for the church in Fort Smith.

Morales said she contributed to the church her salary, which was about $62,000 to $65,000 annually for 10 to 15 years.

The money went to the bookkeeper fund of the ministry. The fund was used to pay various bills, maintenance and operation of the ministries.

The lawyers questioned whether Morales was Alamo’s wife. She said there was no romantic relationship between her and Alamo.

In a telephone interview Wednesday from a federal prison, Melvin Warren Fagan testified he is currently a personal assistant for Alamo and had access to emails sent to Alamo about the church operation.

Fagan is serving a federal prison sentence for attempting to defraud the United States.

Fagan said he reads the emails for Alamo, who is legally blind.

“Nothing goes on without Tony Alamo’s approval,” Fagan said.

He also said Alamo approves repairs and operation of the ministry buildings.

Donn Wolf testified he helped raise the down payment for the Fort Smith church building.

Thomas Scarcello testified he signed a bank note for a warehouse in Fort Smith.

About 100 members of the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries attended the hearing Wednesday.

Bryant said he would rule as quickly as possible.

Alamo is serving a 175-year federal prison term for bringing children across state lines for sex.

In: 2013, Breaking News

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One Post

  1. Voice or Reason Says:

    Does anyone have a direct link to this video?

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