10/20/13 – TG: Judge rules Alamo, wife must reveal money source ***COMMENTS***

Texarkana Gazette
October 20, 2013
By: Lynn LaRowe Best – Texarkana Gazette

Judge rules Alamo, wife must reveal money source

Imprisoned evangelist Tony Alamo and wife Sharon Alamo must reveal the source of money they use to pay their lawyers, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

Lawyers Neil Smith of Irving, Texas, and David Carter of Texarkana said they believe Alamo is concealing a “large sum of money,” some of which they assert is being used for legal fees.

“Accordingly, locating his assets is the principal issue in the case,” states a motion to compel the Alamos’ disclosure of how their lawyers are being compensated.

“Because attorneys’ fees are often paid from the client’s assets, how defendant is paying his attorneys is evidence bearing on the location of those assets. Therefore, because the location of defendant’s assets is at issue in this case, and because information on how defendant pays his attorneys bears on that issue, such information is relevant. Defendant is paying his attorneys, or they are being paid on his behalf.”

During their March depositions, the Alamos’ lawyers claimed their clients didn’t have to answer because of attorney-client privilege.

In his Thursday ruling, U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant disagreed and granted Smith and Carter’s motion to compel the Alamos to answer questions about legal fees.

“In general, information related to attorney fee arrangements or attorney fee payments are not protected by the attorney-client privilege,” Bryant’s order states. “The court compels defendant Alamo and Sharon Alamo to respond to the questions plaintiffs’ counsel posed to them during their depositions regarding the source of payment of defendant Alamo’s legal bills and the fee arrangements between defendant Alamo and his attorney.”

Smith said he and Carter are in the process of scheduling additional depositions of Tony Alamo and Sharon Alamo and are seeking to obtain responses to their questions about legal fees in written form.

Tony Alamo, whose given name is Bernie LaZar Hoffman, and Sharon Alamo refused to answer questions concerning the payment of their lawyers during depositions in March. The depositions were taken in connection with a civil suit filed by two men raised in the ministry who are each owed a $15 million judgment from Alamo.

A jury found Alamo guilty of conspiracy, battery and outrage concerning Spencer Ondrisek and Seth Calagna following a federal trial in 2010. The $30 million judgment remains outstanding.

Alamo, 79, is serving a 175-year federal prison sentence for bringing five women he wed as children across state lines for sex.

Emails admitted as exhibits during a hearing Oct. 9 give insight into Alamo’s finances, his influence over his loyalists from prison, and the polygamist lifestyle witnesses testified about in his 2009 criminal case.

In an Oct. 1, 2012, email from an incarcerated Tony Alamo to Sharon Alamo, Tony Alamo instructs Sharon Alamo to deny knowing anything about Alamo’s multi-wife life.

“Regarding the wives, you don’t know anything about that. Just give the same answers that I gave. You don’t know about the children that I have fathered, and the banks have nothing to do with these lawsuits. You have to endure as a good soldier,” Tony Alamo wrote.

Tony Alamo’s comments were in response to Sharon Alamo’s informing him she was being asked to “identify all the wives in a marriage relationship whether considered ‘legal’ or not. They ask for all the children you fathered and the mother and dates of birth.”

Smith and Carter have sought and received permission from Bryant to sell six Forth Smith, Ark., properties associated with Alamo as partial recompense for the unpaid civil judgment. Since then, a bevy of Alamo followers filed claims to the properties, all but a few of which Bryant recently dismissed.

Smith and Carter argued the properties and other ministry assets are owned and controlled for Alamo’s benefit and profit. The followers claimed the ministry properties are collectively owned by them all and that Alamo owns and controls nothing.

But in emails, Alamo makes a decision concerning a follower’s job assignment and addresses rent payment issues concerning individual tenants in a ministry-owned apartment complex. Tony Alamo gives detailed instructions about how to pay a former lawyer and chastises followers for their conduct.

Last week, Bryant held a hearing to address the handful of remaining claims to the six properties. An order concerning the pending claims is expected in the coming weeks.

Alamo has long held that he has no money. Ministry properties are placed in the names of followers, and ownership is transferred among them regularly using quitclaim deeds. Bryant previously ruled the practice an attempt by Alamo to avoid liability for wrongdoing.

Emails submitted as exhibits during the Oct. 9 hearing seem to support Smith’s and Carter’s arguments.

“He will get $200,000 a month for five months,” Tony Alamo wrote to Sharon Alamo in an Oct. 10, 2012, email concerning the hiring of Clayton, Mo., lawyer John Rogers to take over representation of Tony Alamo.

In an Aug. 27, 2012, email from Tony Alamo to Sharon Alamo, Tony Alamo addresses issues with his former lawyer, John Hall of Little Rock.

“I am the boss, I am the one paying him,” Tony Alamo wrote. Below Alamo’s message to Sharon Alamo is a copy of an email from Hall to Sharon Alamo.

“The problem and risk is exposing to the outside world how the property ownership works,” Hall’s email to Sharon Alamo states.

Even if all the proceeds from the sale of the Fort Smith properties were to go to Ondrisek and Calagna, the $30 million judgment would not be completely satisfied, according to county property appraisals.

In: 2013, Breaking News

| Back to Top |
Want to help?

Click the button!

4 Posts

  1. Fred Says:

    I have all too often seen so-called fundamentalist Christians justify lying and present it as proper Christian behavior in the name of protecting themselves from the (ENEMY) the Word of God is clear about truth, Jesus is the truth and Satan is the father of ALL lies,thou shalt not lie is a commandment and I have seen so-called Christians teaching it is permissible to lie to the devil as Tony Alamo teaches making themselves judges as to who the devil is making themselves above God(ANTICHRIST) Lying is a sin in any capacity and at anytime by anyone,I would hope all concerned with Tony would realize that regardless of their belief about Tony and his doctrine lying makes them followers of their father SATAN.

  2. Bob Says:

    Fred, how many witnesses would it take to convince you of what an evil man Tony Alamo is? It’s time to break free from Tony’s voodoo spell

  3. Bruce Says:

    Publicly acknowledging Tony Alamo is a liar is an important first step in breaking the pathetic brainwashed/mind control the cult still has over you Fred. I’d like to hear you admit he is not just a liar but a thief, a pimp, a child molester, and more. Then I might believe there is still hope and redemption for you…

  4. Swamp Fox Says:

    I lived with the Tony Alamo church in Fort Smith, Arkansas for a time and Mr. Alamo has convinced a group of well meaning Christians that they’re the only ones who will be saved when God and Jesus come back to rule the Earth!
    Meanwhile they take care of all of his properties for him while he sits in Federal Prison!
    In exchange for a place to live and food in their bellies he sits in Federal Prison pulling all the strings for his church!
    These good meaning Christians are actually convinced that they’re the only ones who will be saved when the time comes for God and his son Jesus to come back and rule over their kingdom on earth!
    When that time comes they’re not the only ones that will be delivered! There are plenty of us that will be saved! Who believe in God and his son Jesus Christ! Just because you don’t believe exactly as they preach doesn’t mean that you won’t be saved!
    Mr. Alamo was a Hollywood promoter before he became a minister of the Church known as the Tony Alamo Christian Ministry.
    It’s very pompous of them to act like it’s their way or the highway! When the time comes all his followers are in for a rude awakening as a great deal of the American people are!

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.