February 1, 2001
On Tuesday, January 30, 2001, Judge Runston Maino of Superior Court in Vista, California, set a hearing for the sale of the residence of Willis Carto in Escondido, said to be the “west coast office” of Washington, DC-based Liberty Lobby. Carto is the CEO and treasurer of Liberty Lobby. The sale is necessary because Carto has since August 1999 failed to live up to the terms of an agreement he signed with Legion for the Survival of Freedom, the parent corporation of Institute for Historical Review, to repay millions of dollars he took from LSF. As one example of its many defaults, in November 2000 Carto’s Liberty Lobby filed suit against LSF/IHR in direct violation of the agreement.
Carto’s estate is located at the end of a secluded dirt driveway marked “No Trespassing.” It is situated on a hill, surrounded by an avocado orchard, overlooking a magnificent valley, and features a swimming pool and a chain-link fence topped with razor wire. At various times over the years, Carto, who with his wife Elisabeth has lived in the mansion since the 1980s, has claimed that the house belonged to “J. W. Young,” the “Herford Corporation” (a Panamanian company named after his wife’s hometown), and his wife’s nephew, Hans Dirk Oldemeier. In The Spotlight Carto refers to it as the “west coast offices” of Liberty Lobby, and donations from Liberty Lobby supporters pay the property taxes and the Panamanian attorneys of “Herford Corporation” and other Carto fronts.
During the Tuesday court hearing, Judge Maino reserved the entire morning of February 20 for the judgment debtor examinations of the Cartos. For almost a decade, the Cartos have refused to disclose what they did with the money, although they have told the court that revealing their use of the funds will incriminate them in further criminal behavior. It is believed that authorities in Switzerland are investigating the Cartos and their close friend, Henri Fischer, for money laundering and other crimes abroad.