April 28, 2000
Judge Runston Maino today in the Superior Court for the State of California gave Liberty Lobby treasurer Willis Carto one week to repay the Institute for Historical Review thousands of dollars that Carto stole from the Institute in defiance of two earlier court orders issued by Maino himself.
In 1996, Maino found that Carto and others had diverted millions from IHR and its parent corporation, and ordered Carto not to divert any more monies meant for the IHR. After Carto failed to respond to other legal court orders, Maino issued a new order which again instructed Carto not to interfer in any way with the business of the IHR.
These two orders notwithstanding, Carto proceeded to divert thousands more from the estate of Jack Graham that had been left to IHR. Carto then attempted to hide the diversion by transferring the bank records to the ofce of his Texas attorney Joe Izen. Izen, who was forced to travel to California for today’s hearing to defend himself on charges of criminal contempt, told Maino there was “no way I can purge myself of contempt” in this matter. Trial for Izen has been set for June 23.
Maino also ordered Carto back to court on Friday, May 5, unless Carto refunds the missing money. Typically defiant, Carto informed Maino that he already had travel plans for that day, and that it would be inconvenient and costly to change them. Maino shot back, “It will be a tremendous inconvenience and cost if you're not here” on May 5, and promised to issue a bench warrant for Carto’s arrest if Carto defies this court order.
Also named in these contempt proceedings are long-time Carto crony LaVonne Furr, and Carto’s wife Elisabeth. Neither appeared in court today despite being personally served. Carto’s attorney Brian Urtnowski informed the court that Elisabeth, who with Carto filed for bankruptcy recently, could not appear because she was traveling in Germany.