22 MONTROSE VOICE/MARCH 20, 1987
More LaRouche Followers
Rounded Up by the Feds
By Thomas Ferraro
LEESBURG, Va. (UPI)-Nine followers of political extremist Lyndon
LaRouche, including a key aide, were
arrested Tuesday night at sites near his
fortress headquarters on charges of
bilking victims out of millionsof dollars
in a scheme to raise money for affiliated
The roundup, the third in six months
involving LaRouche adherents in rural
northern Virginia and elsewhere
around the country, was prompted by
an indictment handed up March 3 in
New York charging 15 LaRouche followers with crimes ranging from fraud
to grand larceny.
LaRouche's cult-like political organization has been under investigation in
recent months by federal, state and
local law enforcement agencies. The
inquiries have generally focused on
On Oct. 6 a federal grand jury in Boston capped a two-year probe by indicting 10 LaRouche associates on charges
of credit-card fraud and obstruction of
justice for allegedly making unlawful
withdrawals from accounts of contributors.
On the same day, about 300 federal,
state and local law officers seized two
truckloads of financial records from
LaRouche headquarters, prompting a
Loudoun County Grand jury on Feb. 17
to indict IGLaRouchefollowersandfive
LaRouche-affiliated groups on charges
of state securities fraud.
Those individuals and groups were
accused of using false and misleading
promises to solicit about $30 million in
loans nationwide from about 3,000 people, most of them elderly.
LaRouche himself has not been
named in any of the indictments.
Last fall, LaRouche, who lives in a
heavily fortified, $1.3 million estate outside Leesburg, vowed to defend himself
against any arrest, but later said if
charges are brought he would surrender
LaRouche, 64, a four-time presidential candidate, and his followers have
denounced the previous grand jury
indictments as unfounded political
harassment and part of a conspiracy by
the White House and the Kremlin.
Lt. Terry McCracken of the Loudon
County sheriffs office said that, acting
on the New York indictment, 16 law
officers arrested nine people Tuesday
night at their homes and LaRouche-
affiliated businesses near their leader's
heavily fortified and guarded headquarters.
David Fishlow, a spokesman for New
York Attorney General Robert Abrams,
said arrest warrants also were to be
issued against four people in New Jersey, one in Illinois and one in California.
The New York indictment, handed up
March 3, was not to be unsealed until
Wednesday, but was made known to
reporters in Virginia on Tuesday night.
Fishlow said the New York charges
stem partially from information
gathered by the grand jury in Virginia.
The suspects arrested Tuesday night
were identified as Edward Spannaus,
43, LaRouche's 1984 presidential campaign treasurer and now one of his legal
advisers; his wife, Nancy Spannaus, 43;
Cathy Wolfe, 36; David Pepper, 49;
George Canning, 36, Linda de Hoyos,
37, Paul Gallagher, 42; Merielle Kron-
berg, 39, and David Shavin, 34.
They were cited with a total of 42
counts involving charges ranging from
conspiracy to fraud, the fraudulent sale
of securities and grand larceny.
Fishlow said the defendants are
accused of "borrowing money that they
never intended to repay. They signed
promissory notes dating back to 1979
that were never repaid."
The Loudon County sheriffs office
issued a statement saying prospective
victims of the alleged fraud were contacted at airports or shopping malls by
LaRouche volunteers, then received
follow-up telephone calls or visits by the
defendants, who often sought donations.
"When donations were no longer
forthcoming from a victim the defendants would ask for the loans at above-
market interest rates to be secured by
promissory notes," the sheriffs statement said.
"Though interest to the loans were
sometimes paid, payments were irregular and checks often bounced either
because they were stopped or because
funds were insufficient to cover them,"
the statement said.
LaRouche has zig-zagged across the
political spectrum during the past two
decades. At different times he has been
called ultra right and ultra left. He has
called the Queen of England a drug
dealer and Henry Kissinger an agent of
influence of the Soviet Union, and has
accused the International Monetary
Fund of mass murder by spreading
AIDS through its economic policies.
His followers generally belong to the
National Democratic Policy Committee, a name similar enough to the Democratic National Committee to cause
concern by the larger party and confusion among voters.
AUSTIN (UPI)—A state judge Tuesday
temporarily blocked enforcement of a
Public Utility Commission order allowing Southwestern Bell Telephone to
drop service to two firms that provide
live, sexually explicit messages to
Travis County District Judge Joseph
Hart granted a temporary restraining
order sought by Omniphone Inc. and
Audio Five Inc., which provides the service in four Texas cities.
Bell contended the companies—by
providing the messages through the
"Dial 976" exchange—violated their
service agreement with the telephone
But lawyers for the two companies
argued that disconnecting the message
service denied their clients' constitutional rights to free speech.
Bell bills and collects payments for
companies that use the 976 service,
which is available in Texas only in
Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth and San
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