Willis Carto archive

Including information about his associates

What Others Have Said about Willis Carto

Little Likely To Be Left In Estate, But Lessons Linger

35-year-reign ends as court clamps down on self-styled patriot making profits

LOS ANGELES — The Right, perpetually under-funded, has grappled for years with how to raise and keep resources. One entrepreneur, Willis Carto, set up various profit-making ventures, with himself as “treasurer,” naming boards to do his bidding. The procedure was criticized by those, such as Greg Raven of the Legion For Freedom, which opted for non-profit activities which benefited no individual personally. The issue has now been decided in Los Angeles Superior Court against the patriot-for-a-profit technique. Raven has received a $6.4 million judgment against Carto for the bilking of the estate of a descendant of Thomas Edison.

Judge Munston Maino ruled on November 13, 1996, that Mr. Carto was “not a witness who can be relied upon. His demeanor when he testified was evasive and argumentative. He could not follow the instructions of the court or his counsel when they asked him not to volunteer information. His demeanor on the stand made the job of his very able counsel much more difficult. I found that much of his testimony made no sense, much of his testimony in court was different from his previous testimony, much of his testimony was contradicted by other witnesses or by documents. By the end of the trial, I was of the opinion that Mr. Carto lacked candor, lacked memory, and lacked the ability to be forthright about what he did honestly remember.”

Bilking of Board Condemned

The court condemned the use of a “dummy board” in the California operation. “One of Mr. Carto’s fundamental misconceptions is his relationship to the Legion. Just because he purchased the debts of the Legion and devoted time and money toward its goals does not allow him to use the Legion as if he owned it. The Legion is a public non-profit institution which has a life separate from Mr. Carto’s life. Mr. Carto believes that his status as a 'substitute incorporator' or 'member' of the Legion gives him the power and right to control the Legion. This is not the law.”

The Legion promotes the study of history. The case sends a strong message, according to Raven, that self-styled patriots must be held accountable. The Nationalist Movement, which is also a public, non-profit entity, agreed. “We have said all along that playing by the rules will result in ultimate success,” said Secretary Richard Jordan. Jordan said that Carto’s intransigence made it likely that legal costs and taxes would devour the estate. “Our endowment rules avoid such a thing,” Jordan reiterated. The court noted that “because Mr. Carto thinks he is the Legion and he owns and controls it, he acted in a certain way toward it. He told people they were appointed or elected to the Board of Directors when they were not so appointed or elected. Mr. Carto did not keep the Directors fully informed about Legion business. He wrote Board minutes and ordered them backdated. Mr. Carto tried to direct the educational direction of the Legion by issuing orders to the staff and by threatening to fire them.” Carto, 72, a former Birch Society salesman who maintains a large California estate, has operated out of a former Washington DC hotel for thirty-five years.

All The Way
Volume 10, Number 12; Pages 1-4; December, 1996
© 1996 by The Nationalist Movement