Willis Carto archive

Including information about his associates

Liberty Lobby and Willis Carto Declare Bankruptcy in Illegal Diversion Case

Court Filings Fend Off Collection Effort by Revisionist History Institute

June 8, 1998

Liberty Lobby, a right wing / populist organization based in Washington, DC, together with its founder and head, Willis A. Carto, have filed for bankruptcy in an effort to delay or halt enforcement of a November 1996 court judgment in favor of the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), a controversial revisionist history think tank based in southern California.

Liberty Lobby filed for bankruptcy in Washington, DC, on May 13 under Chapter 11, which permits continued operation while reorganizing to pay off debts (case No. 98-1046). The organization claims estimated assets of between $1 million and $10 million.

Willis Carto, 72, and his wife, Elisabeth, filed for bankruptcy on June 5 under liquidation Title 7. The case (No. 98-08050-H7) has been assigned to Judge John Hargrove of US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California (San Diego). The Cartos, long-time residents of Escondido, southern California, claim estimated assets of less than $50,000.

These court filings suggest that a bitter, drawn out legal dispute involving more than seven million dollars in illegally diverted funds may at last be reaching an end.

Following a non-jury trial that concluded on November 12, 1996 (case No. N64584), California Superior Court Judge Runston G. Maino found that former IHR associates Willis and Elisabeth Carto, together with Liberty Lobby, a former San Marcos resident named Henry Fischer, and others, illegally diverted millions of dollars from the IHR’s parent corporation, Legion for the Survival of Freedom (LSF).

In his November 21, 1996, Judgment by Court After Trial, Maino ordered the Cartos, along with other defendants, to pay IHR/LSF $6.43 million, plus ten percent annual interest from January 1991, and co-defendant Liberty Lobby to pay IHR/LSF $2.65 million, plus ten percent annual interest from January 1993.

Detailed information about Willis Carto and the Carto-IHR dispute, including complete texts of key court documents, can be accessed on line on a special web site: https://members.aol.com/ihrgreg4

Representing the Cartos and Liberty Lobby in this case has been Newport Beach attorney J. Brian Urtnowski (Tel. 714- 752 5370).

Liberty Lobby’s weekly tabloid paper, The Spotlight (Tel. 202-546 5611) alleges that Carto and Liberty Lobby are victims of a conspiracy controlled by the Israeli Mossad, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Church of Scientology.

Carto’s often strained and legally murky relationship with the IHR was terminated in September 1993 after he attempted drastically to change the Institute’s editorial direction. A subsequent investigation led to the July 1994 filing of a civil lawsuit against Carto, Liberty Lobby and others for conversion of LSF/IHR assets.

Founded in 1978, the Institute for Historical Review is a not-for-profit research, educational and publishing center devoted to truth and accuracy in history. The IHR publishes the scholarly Journal of Historical Review. The Institute’s Director is historian Mark Weber. The IHR web site address is www.ihr.org

In a letter of November 13, 1996, evaluating evidence presented in the just-concluded trial, Judge Maino wrote that Willis Carto’s entire attitude during the proceedings had been one of arrogance, deceit, evasiveness, and convenient memory.

Mr. Carto intentionally lied to the Furrs and other actual and purported members of the Board of Directors of the Legion [LSF] so nobody would know of his illegal acts, the Judge also declared. As evidence presented in the case made clear, these illegal acts include Carto’s forgery of fraudulent corporate documents, and his handling of corporate funds as if they were his personal property.