Willis Carto archive

Including information about his associates

Carto Estate Auctioned for a Fraction of its Value

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Carto estate sheriff’s auction

Willis and Elisabeth Carto’s hillside mansion in Escondido, California, was sold at a sheriff’s auction yesterday. The six-acre estate, complete with fruit trees and 1,875 square foot two-level house, is thought to be worth in excess of $600,000. However, because the Cartos failed to allow brokers or potential buyers inspect the property prior to the sale, only two parties entered bids. The winning bid of $350,000 was made by Legion for the Survival of Freedom (LSF), the IHR’s parent corporation. Part of this amount will be subtracted from the $15 million dollars owed by Carto to LSF. Even though the multi-million dollar judgment against Carto was entered in 1996, for improperly diverting millions of dollars meant for LSF/IHR, it has taken this long to get any money from Carto in satisfaction of the judgment.

Over the years, Carto has offered various descriptions of his estate. In a letter reprinted by Christian News (January 30, 1995, page 11), he valuated his house and property at $300,000. Readers of The Spotlight were told that it was the west coast office of Liberty Lobby. On official documents, Carto falsely claimed that the estate was owned by the Herford Corporation, in reality a dummy Panamanian holding company set up by Carto himself. In one court case, Carto, using the name J. W. Young, told the court that he was simply a renter. In another court case, Carto claimed that Herford Corporation was owned by Hans-Dirk Oldemeier, nephew of Elisabeth Carto, and paid no rent. (When questioned by authorities about the ownership of the house, Oldemeier stated that the house was owned by the Cartos, never mentioning the alleged transfer of ownership to himself.) Presumably because the estate was the west coast office of Liberty Lobby, Carto used Liberty Lobby funds to pay his property taxes and his Panamanian attorneys. Anyone who visits the remote and secluded entrance to the property, however, is greeted with signs warning against trespassing down the dangerous and unsafe private driveway that has served the jet-setting Cartos for years.

George Kadar

Long-time Carto crony George Kadar showed up with his camera, presumably in hopes of intimidating anyone from bidding on the Carto home. Kadar, who lives and works in nearby San Clemente, has written for Carto’s tabloid The Spotlight (January 23, 1995, page 14; April 21, 1997, page 24; letters to the editor), and heads up a white supremicist organization called American Spring, out of Dana Point. His photos are sometimes used in Carto publications.

After the sheriff read aloud the legal basis for the auction, Kadar objected to the sale on the basis that he had not been properly notified that the minimum bid was LOWER than first advertised. The sheriff decided, however, that proper notice was given, and that even if it had not been properly given, Kadar was not prejudiced by having to make a lower bid. As it turned out, neither Kadar nor any of the other Carto supporters in attendance placed any bids whatsoever. They must really be sorry to see the west coast office of Liberty Lobby go!