Flying High in Hawaii

Ronald Rewald and the CIA


Sightings from The Catbird Seat

~ o ~


From Disavow – A CIA Saga of Betrayal

by Rodney Stich and T. Conan Russell

~ ~ ~

A weak beam of light escaped the fluttering drapes, drawn behind the sliding glass doors of the lanai. A shimmering full moon lit up the empty beach and pool some sixteen stories below. Inside room 1632, the lamp on the night stand next to the bed cast a dim light on the prescription bottle of Codeine #3, which was sitting next to the bloody razor blade.

On the rumpled bed, an open Bible rested amidst the blood stains. On the floor at the foot of the bed laid a motionless body clad only in blue shorts. Blood oozed from a slashed right wrist.

A shiny boot roughly rolled the blood splotched body onto its back and the silence was broken by a heavy voice, carrying a Latin accent.

“Okay, Rewald’s not dead.” Angelo Cancel, a stocky Latino snorted. “We’re in luck.”

He was accompanied by Robert Allen, a man in his late 50’s. . . . He was heavy; 200 pounds on a 5’10” frame. He grabbed Rewald by one hand. “Great. Let’s get him into the bathroom. See if he’ll talk.”

The two dragged the limp body into the bathroom, leaving a smudged trail of blood. Propping him up against the tub, Cancel slapped his face, the again, harder. He seemed to revive momentarily, then slumped heavily.”

“Shit!” Cancel snarled in frustration. “He’s dying right here and now!”

“Drink,” Allen said in panic, “try giving him something to drink!”

Cancel retrieved a glass of water from the sink and held it to the dying man’s lips. It dribbled down his chin and chest.”

“Son-of-a-bitch! It’s no use,” Cancel groaned. “He can’t swallow.”

In frustration, Cancel slapped Rewald twice more, then got right in his face, while shaking him violently. Bob leaned foreware and lifted Rewald’s head up by his hair.

“Ron! Ron!” Allen pleaded. “Where is the green book?”

Ron’s eyes rolled in and out of consciousness. He gasped faintly, then gagged, trying to drink. Cancel shook him once more, banging his head against the tub.

“Ron, is it here?” Allen asked in desperation.

Ron forced a gagging response. He blinked through glazed eyes, then barely nodded ‘no’.

Cancel sneered calmly, then continued in a soothing voice after withdrawing a Buck Knife from his white linen coat. “Ron, my friend. We came to help you.”

Cancel pulled the knife blade open and gently laid it on Ron’s left forearm, which he had lifted onto the rim of the tub.

“The company always looks after its own.”

He then dug the knife tip deep into the flesh below the elbow, and slowly drew it across the forearm. The splayed tissue pulsated bright red ooze.

The two men left the dying man alone in the bathroom, and began a hurried search of the hotel room. After several minutes, they came up empty handed and cursed in frustration. Before leaving they stopped at the bathroom door for one last look, then were gone.

Soon the Chairman of Bishop Baldwin Rewald Dillingham & Wong would be dead….

~ ~ ~


It was almost midnight as United flight #193 left the Hawaiian skies. Others, one by one, closed their eyes and fell asleep in the large comfortable seats of the first class cabin. Only Ron seemed unable to rest. As he stared out through the plane’s small porthole, seeing nothing in the darkness, as uneasiness filled Ron that night. Maybe it was a prelude of things to come, but an empty hollow feeling in the pit of his stomach made him uncomfortable….

Oh, it wasn’t a particular concern about leaving the children. That wouldn’t set in for at least a day or two, if normal patterns persisted. Anyway, he knew they were in good hands …

Then, of course there were the security guards and bodyguards, four or five of them, led by Calvin Gunderson, who had the responsibility of overseeing all security for the Rewald family. They would never be out of his sight, although the older ones would try all the same. But the calm, conscientious Hawaiian Gunderson, always unruffled, would keep them safe and secure always …

The concern was not over the children. Ron, from outside observation, should have been a man at peace with himself and very satisfied with his station in life. Chairman of the Board of Bishop Baldwin Rewald Dillingham & Wong, now a very prestigious and fast growing multinational consulting firm, with offices in London, Paris, Stockholm, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Guam, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, India, South America and the Middle East, in addition to several U.S. offices, including Beverly Hills, and of course Honolulu, its international headquarters.

Bishop Baldwin’s investments included a trust company, travel agency, airline, real estate companies, an automobile dealership, a chain of sporting goods stores, ranches, investment companies, a printing company, agri-business, a trade company and school, warehouses and plantations, and office buildings. In Hawaii alone he oversaw, along with his partner, Sunny Wong, a hundred forty employees, including a couple dozen or so investment analysts and bankers, in addition to scores of support people throughout the company’s world-wide operation.

He lived on a beautiful Hawaiian estate (appraised at over $2 million) on a private lagoon, with its own private waterfall, spring and exotic fish pond, paddle tennis courts and lush tropical gardens. In addition to the unlimited use of company chauffeurs and limousines, he drove a Cadillac, had a Rolls Royce convertible for his wife and sports cars for the older children to drive, and all the accouterments of wealth from Rolex watches to custom suits, even his own string of thoroughbred polo ponies.

He was President of the prestigious and very exclusive Hawaii Polo Club, one of the oldest in the United States. It listed among its members His Royal Highness, Prince Charles of England….

Ron had a charming, almost disarming, personality that put everyone at ease, always sensitive to the needs of others. Ron appeared a happy and successful man who had everything. And yet, as he stared into the empty night through the plane’s window, thoughts, worries and concerns raced through his mind. He also had secrets, many of them.

Ron prayed the next days would go well, according to the missions’ plan. This trip that was for all outward appearances a half business, half pleasure trip to Chile to look at investment opportunities and play polo at Santiago’s plush and exclusive Equestrian Club, was really far more.

Ron’s CIA cover as a wealthy Honolulu business executive, was on yet another mission, this time taking him into Argentina, after briefings in Chile, in the middle of a war between the Argentines and the British over the Falkland Islands. The situation was deteriorating fast. An American could become a very unpopular commodity in a hurry, should the U.S. government or the President say the wrong thing, something to alienate an already strained U.S.-Argentine relationship. Yet, the information needed was vital and critical, or at least that’s what he was almost always told by his chief of CIA at the Honolulu station headquarters….

As the plane touched down, Ron hoped their greeting party would be there waiting for them as planned. When they had disembarked and cleared customs, he could see them waiting. There was Michael Daily, a young up and coming Bishop Baldwin executive hired for his expertise in South America, specifically Chile and Argentina, where he had lived and worked for a number of years…. His father had previously owned the Hawaii Polo Club, in addition to a hotel or two in Honolulu. Michael grew up, so to say, in the saddle, and was an excellent polo player …

There was Michael’s pretty wife, Becca, whom Ron had suggested should join them on this trip, to Michael’s delight. Ron’s intentions had been for her to keep Nancy company.

There was also Al Lopaka, a friend and polo player from Hawaii, a devilish rogue, in a good sense. He was a real charmer, a lady killer who retired as a professional singer and entertainer to concentrate on his first love, playing polo, which he did very well….

All three had been sent on ahead of the Rewalds to organize everything so Ron’s time would be put to the most productive use. Mike Daily set up business meetings and luncheons, and Al Lopaka set polo practice …

Santiago was an old dirty city, very poor and, since the government’s military junta took over years earlier in their bloody coup, murdering the president, Salvadore Allende, there was very little economic recovery….

Before leaving for the hotel and a few hours rest, they all agreed to meet for dinner that evening at a unique little restaurant well known in Santiago, a must for visitors. Michael had arranged for two other couples to join them, people they hoped to be doing some business with while they were down her for Bishop Baldwin and the CIA….

The guests were already there, Al Lopaka, Michael and Becca Daily, Gustavo and his wife … Michael then introduced the Rewalds to General Munoz and his wife. The general was a stern-looking middle-aged man, rigid in appearance, but extremely polite.

Ronald Wolfson, who was already there, served as vice president of Chase Manhattan Bank, Santiago, and had assisted Michael on a number of Bishop Baldwin needs. Ron had been told that Wolfson had a desire to leave Chase Manhattan for their firm if the right deal could be structured.

Mrs. Wolfson, a former high fashion model from New York, skinny as a rail, had obviously already taken a liking to the irrepressible Lopaka, and as the evening progressed and the empty wine glasses accumulated in front of her, she became bolder by the hour to the embarrassment of all except, surprisingly, her husband….

~ ~ ~

General Munoz ushered them into an elegant office and explained that they had been summoned to meet with General Manteola, second in command only to Pinochet and one of the four original members of the junta responsible, he said, “For liberating Chile.”…

A few minutes later a tall, thin gaunt looking General Manterola entered … He was smiling as he approached, greeting first Ron, by name, then Mike Daily. Obviously, he had been briefed….

The General then got down to business, explaining that ten years ago, when they had taken power, the junta had expropriated over five hundred businesses at the time, and had over the years returned most, or sold them off. They had, however, retained some, and knowing of the reputation of Bishop Baldwin Rewald Dillingham & Wong, thought something might be worked out that would be to the benefit of all.

He further explained that the government of the United States had shunned any significant relations wsith Chile under its present leadership and that Commander Pinochet desired that relations between the two governments be improved, so that American corporations would once again do more business and prosper together with Chile as economic partners….

General Manterola went on to explain that they still held one of Santiago’s largest banks in their control and would be willing to give it to Bishop Baldwin for a token price, “Say one million dollars, U.S.” It had, he said, assets netting over sixteen million, which they could have their auditors verify to their satisfaction first. They really wanted it owned by a new American interest in the hope it would be the start to stimulate other U.S. companies to do business there.

Ron said he would certainly take it back to his board of directors and check their interests. What he really meant is he would report it to Jack Kindshci, Charles Richardson, CIA F.R. (Foreign Resources), Chief of Base and Jack Rardin, CIA Chief of Station, and let them give the information to the home office at Langley.

For, in reality, Bishop Baldwin was their baby, a CIA owned and operated proprietary company, and any such decision would in fact be theirs. But then they might see some intelligence value in this, and they were always seeking new banking capabilities.

The General then sweetened the deal by adding that if Ron would put this deal together they would throw in for Bishop Baldwin, or its chairman (Ron) 2,800 acres of prime agricultural land in southern Chile, with timber forests and excellent farm land, included free for making the deal….

~ ~ ~

The country club was impressive by anyone’s standards, unexpectedly so for Santiago, Ron thought as they were shown to the Wolfson’s table. Membership ran seventy-five thousand U.S., Wolfson later told him. As the men, Ron, Michael and Ron Wolfson paired off to discuss business, the girls, Nancy and Mrs. Wolfson, chatted about lesser things….

Ron discussed with Wolfson the meeting they had been to with General Manterola earlier in the day, and explained his offer. Wolfson was impressed and somewhat in awe of the special treatment these newcomers to Chile had received. If they, Daily and Wolfson, were to set up BBRD&W offices in Santiago, how long would it take and how much would it cost, Ron inquired? They estimated sixty to ninety days, and upwards of forty thousand dollars, was the consensus.

What about auditing the bank offered by Manterola? It would not be feasible to have Bishop Baldwin do the audit. It would take a local accounting firm. Wolfson suggested Price Waterhouse, for they had an office in Santiago and were familiar with the Chilean economy. Ron agreed they would be best, indicating they currently used them in Taiwan, Indonesia, and London.

After considerable discussion, Ron said at the next board meeting he would propose the setting up of offices in Santiago, with a retainer agreement satisfactory to Wolfson for the present…. He did tell Wolfson to contact Price Waterhouse and see what they wanted for a feasibility study on the project….

All parted on good terms and agreed that Wolfson would be brought to Hawaii later in the year for discussions about his future….

~ ~ ~


The upcoming week would prove to be one of the busiest and certainly, most important and productive of Ron’s term as Chairman of the Board of Bishop Baldwin Rewald Dillingham & Wong, and the CIA.

Sometimes the CIA has to target operations within the United States. Under CIA charter, the Agency may not exercise law enforcement or police powers or undertake internal security functions, but this does not mean it cannot operate within the United States….

The CIA charter does not specifically say the CIA may not gather intelligence in the United States, rather, legislation makes it clear the CIA may gather intelligence within our borders, so long as the target is foreign. That understanding was codified by Executive Order 12333, which President Reagan signed on December 4, 1981….

Monday meant that he had another weekend out of the way, another successful polo match. The Marquess of Waterford and his three sons, all excellent players, had won a hard fought match . . . Ron’s mind was already on the new week’s guests, the Sultan of Brunei and Ricky Zobel. This would be a serious week of work and play, hopefully with the results the Agency hoped for….

By 7:00 a.m. he would find himself in his Eldorado convertible battling the morning rush hour traffic into downtown Honolulu. … The air was always fresh and warm at this time of day, so at the first stop light Ron would put the top down and breathe in the fragrant air. There was no place like Hawaii. . . .

When Ron entered the office, one of his three secretaries, Fenlyn Kimura, would be waiting at the entrance. She would follow him all the way into his office, letting him know what would be on the agenda for the day. . . .

His office was on the 26th floor of the Grovesnor Center, which was Hawaii’s newest and most prestigious complex. BBRD&W was one of its first occupants . . . They now occupied three floors and the staff now numbered about 120 people. The 26th floor held all the executive offices, staff, the board room, computer offices and legal and CIA staff. BBRD&W maintained 20 full-time attorneys. Most worked on the various operations; several also did Agency work….

Ron’s office was the size of two large suites. It was octagon-shaped with three walls being glass. The far wall was a full waterfall with a dial to control the flow. . . .Very impressive indeed, but then he was often meeting with billionaires and international bankers, so anything less would not have the bill….

Fenlyn would finish going over the daily schedule, weeding out or redirecting anybody Ron would absolutely not have to meet . . . Then Ron would meet with Sunny Wong. Sunny was the President of BBRD&W and its Chief Executive Officer. Although he was CIA cleared and early on was more involved in the Agency’s operations, he was now basically running the day-to-day operations of Bishop Baldwin….

Sunny would bring Ron up-to-date on the normal business activities and how the company acquisitions were working out . . . Once Sunny left, Sue Wilson would come in and go over the needs of the staff in foreign offices. On this particular morning, Sue brought him up-to-date on Taiwan and the fact that the staff there was wondering when a large shipment of equipment could be expected to arrive. Ron asked her to track down Captain Avary and get him on the phone.

Bob Jinks was also asking for support in Australia, where Bishop Baldwin was setting up additional offices. . . . The office manager in Sweden was asking for more company brochures. However, he wanted special ones with Jack Kindschi’s name omitted. Jack had blown a Greek agent’s cover when he was stationed there and they were once again dealing with this agent to get information on President Popendreo. Ron told Sue to see that it was done. Ron also wanted to talk to Jason Wong in Hong Kong to see how the capital flight effort was being received by the Chinese….

Sue soon traced Captain Avary down and he was on the phone from Paris. He informed Ron that he expected to firm up delivery dates for the Taiwanese on tanks and armored personnel carriers by the end of the week and hoped to be back in Honolulu by Saturday.

He knew that the weekend meant the Agency would be hosting the Sultan of Brunei and Zobel, and Captain Avary always wanted to be where the action was….

Jack Rardin called to see what time Ron would meet with him . . .

Ken Sanders, the head of the public relations companies owned by BBRD&W, was prompt for his 1:00 p.m. appointment. He was requesting Ron to do a few interviews. The first would be with USA Today, then Pacific Business News. Ron agreed, but when he was asked to do local media and newspapers, he refused . . .

Jack Rardin arrived at 2:00 p.m. and was immediately shown into Ron’s office. They went over the requirements for the Sultan . . . Most of all, the objective was to win him over and get close to him, give him anything he wanted, obligate him if we could and get any raw intelligence he was willing to part with.

Areas of concern included OPEC Oil, Indonesia, where Ron would soon be Consul General, and President Marcos, with whom he had a modest relationship. Like Zobel before him, expectations were not high, so anything he could ferret out would be highly regarded.

The Sultan had never before visited the U.S. and the Agency wanted him to feel friendship towards the United States. Ron again reviewed his file, noting his interest in exotic cars, polo and women. He was, after all, coming to Hawaii to play polo at Ron’s club, by way of an invitation he had accepted from Ron through Zobel, who Ron had been setting up for a long time in making this marriage. Ron would invite the Sultan to their dealership for Lamborghini and Maserati. The dealership also carried the largest collection of Rolls Royces, Mercedes, Excaliburs and other such exotic types in the state. . . .

Ron informed Jack that he would not see him until Wednesday; and that he would hold a reception for the Sultan at the Oahu Country Club. Ron also told him that Ricky Zobel and Ron would try and talk some business with the Sultan after the polo match was out of the way. He was expected to stay in Honolulu for one week. Rardin seemed nervous, but then, he always was.

Ron had reason to feel nervous too. The IRS had been asking questions and he didn’t have the answers. He asked for help in this area, and Rardin told him to get another tax extension. He gave Ron three new cover stories, fresh out of CIA headquarters and told him to choose whichever one he felt the most comfortable with. These were lies that he was to tell the IRS agent checking into his operations. . . .

Through the years that Bishop Baldwin had been growing and attracting attention worldwide, they had attracted various regulatory agencies as well. The difference was, that when the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), the Banking Commission, the FDIC, and even the first time the IRS made inquiries about BBRD&W, a simple phone call by Ron to his Station Chief or Chief of Base would result in their immediate termination. Even the CIA Director, William Casey, had personally assured Ron that any of that type of interference would be taken care of by Headquarters. He need not concern himself. Why did it take them so long to put a halt to this one? Ron blamed it on Rardin and his lack of attention to detail. . . .

Ron, of course, had other requirements from CIA-FRD Chief of Base, Charles Richardson and these would take priority. Charles was also the Bishop, in Bishop Baldwin, and was now in Saudi Arabia on assignment….

Jack Kindschi arrived at 3:30 p.m., as Rardin headed back to the CIA station for which he was chief of station. Kindschi was proud of his contributions and work on the Capital Flight book, and justifiably so. It had accomplished what the CIA had in mind when this effort was first called for. It had created panic in Hong Kong among the international bankers and they knew well, with very little pushing, billions of dollars would soon be heading to the USA.

All told, the Agency had a hundred different agents saying the same things about the Chinese takeover and how Hong Kong “could not survive.” With that many sources spreading the same line, the public accepted it as true, showing how disinformation works….

Myra buzzed Ron saying Jinks was on the phone from Australia….

Bob wanted more help than the Agency was able to give him in dealing with the government down there. They were requesting more financial disclosure that the Agency had to give in any other country and Ron wasn’t sure Langley wanted to further develop the accounting records. They already had a new audited Price Waterhouse statement to support their operations in Chile and Brazil. He doubted they would want to extend it to Australia. The more that is exposed, the greater the chance of blowing the cover at some later date….

Myra knocked on the door as Ron was hanging up on Jinks to tell him that Wolfson was on the phone from Chile. Ron motioned for Kindschi to stay seated and put Wolfson on the speaker. He was just routinely reporting in and checking to see if Ron would be down there again soon. Wolfson was vice president of Chase Manhattan Bank in Santiago and now also a paid consultant….

That evening the Kindschis joined the Rewalds for dinner. … Jack and Ron talked about the objectives that could be gained with the Sultan. Women were high among them and he would have more than a few pretty little things the Agency controlled around to attract his attention. At this point, no one knew if he would come alone or bring one, or both of his wives. … Zobel was newly married, so he could not be counted on to help distract the young Sultan….

Tuesday morning at 5:45, Ron woke up and stretched for a minute or two….

At the office, the morning was routine. Around 10:00 a.m. Calvin Gunderson came in to tell Ron he was heading out to the airport to watch the Sultan’s plane arrive….

By 1:30 p.m., Ron was back at work and getting briefings on an India request from Chan Pasrich for military hardware for Indira and her son, Rajiv. Now they were asking for assistance in purchasing a 747, specially equipped with command post electronics, similar to that of the President of the United States. … While the one ordered was everything they wanted and hoped for, the price was not right. Ron said he could do nothing in getting a better price, but was soon told that the problem was not the price, but the kick-back to the Gandhi family and the usual number of military and political personnel along the way. They had cancelled the entire order and wanted to place another one with BBRD&W’s assistance.

As far as the Gandhis were concerned, BBRD&W was just a very well-connected firm with strong ties to the military and political leadership. Chan, of course, was on the payroll and as a field agent knew exactly what BBRD&W really was. Ron told Chan that he would have to run it past the station chief and get guidance from headquarters. . . .

Clearly, India was into false billings and double payments that would benefit the leaders, not all that unusual for that part of the world. . . .

U.S. companies could not legally be involved in kick-backs. Since the Lockheed scandal in Japan, everyone was very careful. Often, Bishop Baldwin got around this by getting their agents named as sales representatives for the large aircraft manufacturers, sometimes for just a single deal. That way they could take the commission and pay it to the necessary people in the various countries. Sometimes they even got to keep a percentage for themselves….

Wednesday started like the rest of the week….

By 2:20 p.m., Ron was at the polo club. Enrique arrived at the same time and they looked over Ron’s best horses and had them saddled and readied for the Sultan’s arrival. … At 3:17 p.m. a long procession of limousines approached the club and passed through the gate. … Of the ten or so limos, the one in the middle was especially obnoxious looking. It was a stretch Lincoln with an extended rear wheel mount on the back fender. The Sultan soon emerged, followed by a short chubby looking woman, his wife….

“Your Royal Highness, I am pleased you could join us and I would like to welcome you to my humble club,” Ron said….

At 7:35 p.m., the entourage arrived at the Honolulu Club. Bodyguards from the Sultan, Zobel and Ron were lined up like a procession and the eleven person party were soon well seated….

Zobel led the way in most of the conversation. … After a many-course meal, it was 10:15 p.m., and while it was bedtime for the children and the women had all had enought, Ricky and Ron suggested that the showroom of Motorcars Hawaii could be opened for a special late night visit, Ricky thinking that the Sultan might find it of interest. The Sultan liked the idea very much, so Ron motioned for Calvin and whispered for him to call Bill Bartenstein. Bill ran Motorcars Hawaii….

The Sultan really enjoyed browsing and sitting in the cars. He tried many for comfort. Ron knew, from intelligence briefings, that the Sultan already have over two hundred, so he was surprised when Bartenstein came over and told him the Sultan wanted to buy some. Bill asked Ron what kind of deal he should make. Ron told him to ask the going price. Ron didn’t feel the Sultan needed a bargain, especially since he was considered to be the richest man in the world….

The Sultan had an aide purchase two cars . . . His Highness wanted the cars as soon as possible; in fact, he would send a plane to pick them up so they would arrive in Brunei by the time he returned home….

It had been a most profitable evening as Ron dropped the Sultan off at his hotel…. Jim and the Sultan had even compared notes about the driveability of Feraris … Jim had arrived at his expertise because he often drove the red Ferari Tom Selleck, of Magnum P.I. drove in his popular series. Motorcars Hawaii were the ones who leased the car to the television production company that produced the series….

Thursday morning Ron awoke at the usual 5:45 a.m. … Franklin drove Ron to the office at 7:30 a.m….

At 2:00 p.m., Ron called Rardin and said he would come to his office. Ron needed to stretch his legs anyway…. it was a quick walk to the Federal Building….

Ron walked down the hallway and into Jack Rardin’s office. It was a typical government office, very nondescript, with his only personal touch being a huge Kentucky University banner on the wall. . . . After a few minutes talking about the Sultan and Ron’s plans, they both walked past the walk-in safe where all the cable traffic was sent and received, past all the shredding machines to the back of the offices where there were no windows. Here there was a large table with books of up-to-date requirements.

Ron had always hated looking through them prior to overseas trips, but he now scanned the up-to-date information of the Sultan….

Friday morning was typical of most mornings…. Shortly after he arrived at the office, a clog was thrown into his plans. Fenlyn came in to announce the governor’s office had called and asked if the Sultan, Enrique and he, plus their wives would please join the governor and his wife for lunch at Washington Place, their formal residence….

This was the last thing Ron wanted today. … Ron found himself calling Nancy and telling her they had to have lunch with the governor at noon. She was not pleased….

General Braswell called. He was Commander in Chief of the Pacific Air Force and he wanted to confirm a Saturday noon tennis game with Nancy and Ron, plus his wife….

Braswell would soon, after retirement, be joining Bishop Baldwin as a full time consultant. He was a West Point graduate and sharp as a whip.

A meeting Ron had already scheduled with Bob Allen (an Agency veteran) and General Forrest, to discuss problems with General Hunter Harris and his drinking and potential security risks, went as scheduled. If it had been up to Allen and Forrester they would have had him committed. Ron felt Harris should no longer be in a position to hear sensitive information, but felt they did have him under control, with Jackie Vos constantly baby-sitting him. Ron suggested they go on monitoring the situation, but to maybe keep him off the air base for awhile. …

Ron and Nancy arrived at the governor’s mansion, followed by Enrique and the Sultan within minutes. The women were given a tour of the historic old estate by Jene Aryoshi, the governor’s wife. Ricky, the Sultan and Ron stayed in the garden and talked. The governor was on his way from the capital, one block away.

Bad protocol, Ron thought, but it gave him more time with his target. They talked about the U.S. economy, and Ricky told the Sultan how well connected Ron was with high ranking politicians and military people in the U.S. The Sultan said he kept all his funds in Great Britain financial institutions, something Ron already knew only too well. In fact, he could quote the names and amounts he kept in each, such as British Crown Agents (4.7 billion dollars). Ron expressed little interest, but said he would not trust the British after the way they ruined Hong Kong and felt that the Falkland crisis had damaged their economy much more than anyone would have realized. The Sultan looked concerned. Ron looked the other way. Ricky grinned ever so slightly and shook his head, satisfied.

Everyone was shown into the main dining room and the governor joined them. Over salad, he welcomed the Sultan and Mr. Zoebel….

The main course was a thick filet wrapped in bacon, something that was very offensive to the Sultan, who was a Muslim. No one ate their food, and it was all quickly removed. They all made the best of it by enjoying dessert and other than the offer of wine, which was also rejected by the Sultan and Ron, everyone seemed to ignore the eating portion of the event. On the way out, George Aryoshi asked Ron if he and his wife could attend this week’s polo match. Ron had little choice but to say yes, although he did not welcome any more distractions for Sunday….

That evening, Nancy and the children arrived at Oahu Country Club at 7:10 p.m. for the Polo Club reception in honor of the Sultan and Zobel. The first to greet the Rewalds was Jack Lord and his wife, Marie. They were the Rewald’s only close non-agency friends in the islands, although Ron was certain it would not have happened if not for his cover and profile. Jack, whose real name was John Ryan, was now retired from Hawaii Five-O since they stopped shooting in the islands after twelve years. He had been a good friend and was often over for dinner at the Rewalds, or the reverse….

Ron introduced them to the Sultan and then drifted off into the crowd….

Nancy, Helen Kindschi, Marie Lord and a few other polo widows were seated at a table, small-talking. At 8:00 p.m. toasts were started to the guests. Ron welcomed them one more time and a number of the more prominent members provided gifts for the visitors and their wives and generally made them feel at home. Ricky approached Ron and shook his head about the governor’s luncheon, then asked, “Are you asking the Sultan to transfer his money through your company?”

“Of course not,” Ron answered. “We couldn’t handle that kind of money.”

He went on to say that Bishop Baldwin would have no way of placing funds that large. He added that no one in Hawaii could handle even half of what he had. Ron did add that he hoped the Sultan would consider placing his money in the U.S. and mentioned a number of investment houses in New York capable of taking such deposits. Ricky shook his head in understanding and said, “Well, the Sultan is thinking about what you had to say.”

Ron nodded, then added, “Good.”

Zobel said we could talk about it Monday.

Ron smiled. “Great,” he nodded….

Saturday morning, Ron awoke at 7:15 a.m. … At 12:00 noon Nancy and Ron arrived at the Waialai Country Club for their tennis match with General Braswell and his wife… At the polo field, the Sultan and Zobel’s Philippine team were having a light workout, their final one before Sunday’s match….

Sunday morning Ron ate breakfast with the family on the patio. … He read the morning paper, which featured a nice article about the day’s big polo match….

By 10:15 a.m., Jim and Jeff and Ron were in the limo on their way to the match. Ron was on the phone with Jack Lord, telling him they would be arriving in about 12 minutes….

There were already almost two hundred cars in the parking lot when Ron arrived. In another hour the parking lot would be full. The beautiful clubhouse area would be surrounded by limousines, some with bumper flags designating them as governors or diplomats or military generals. Rolls Royces would be bumper to bumper with Mercedes and Bentleys and Cadillacs….

The first game started with Jack Lord throwing in the game ball….

The first game ended with Jim and Jeff’s team eking out a one goal victory….

The main event brought the crowd to its feet for the introduction of the players. The Philippine team was introduced first. The Sultan enjoyed the standing ovation immensely….

The game ended in a 9 to 3 victory for the Philippine team. … Ron congratulated the winners and the losers for a game well played….

After the game, talk was of polo and the beautiful polo club. The celebration lasted until sunset….

Before parting, Zobel and Ron agreed to meet with the Sultan in Ron’s office at 11:00 a.m. on Monday. The two shook hands and agreed it had been a very good day….

Monday morning Ron awoke at 5:45 a.m….

By 7:00 a.m. Ron was driving to work, top down, trade winds in his hair and the sunshine warming him. … This was an especially important day and he was already assessing what had been done and what was hoped for. There was no question that the Sultan was enjoying this visit. Ron felt confident they could count on his return, but for what? To play polo?

This was not what everything was about. … Could the Agency count on him for information at some later date, on oil, on his neighbors, on money or assistance? This whole mission had been a major investment, a very big gamble. It certainly had paid dividends with Ricky Zobel alone, his insight into Marcos and world monetary trends and other neighbors in the Far East was invaluable. But, now it was all about the Sultan of Brunei, the world’s richest man….

It was 11:20 a.m. before the Sultan and Zobel were shown into Ron’s office. They were made comfortable, tea and other beverages offered….

The Sultan thanked Ron for a wonderful time, both at the polo match and at sharing “his” delightful island with him….

Enrique also thanked Ron for the game and added that he though they had been lucky, but looked forward to playing again soon.

The Sultan leaned in Ron’s direction. “My friend, I have been somewhat bothered by your remarks about the safety of our country’s funds in Great Britain.”

“I never intended to alarm Your Royal Highness. I only offered my humble opinion,” Ron answered. Of course he had intended to alarm him. He had hoped and prayed that it had.

The Sultan continued, “I have talked with my minister and he agrees with your assessment. Would you be willing to recommend any U.S. institutions that might better serve our country’s needs?”…

Ron knew he needed headquarter’s assistance on this one, and he knew they would be only too happy to help….

Zobel introduced an idea he had recently been considering. Ayala Corporation, of which he was Chairman of the Board, had an investment in Sotogrande, Spain. It was a magnificent polo real estate development and he thought the potential was very high indeed. He felt that it was wrongly purchased by Ayala and needed personalized care. He also thought it was a wonderful investment to personally enjoy.

It took a while before Ron figured out what he was getting at, but what it came down to was he wanted them, the three of them, to buy it. He thought they could have a wonderful time making some good money out of it. Finally, he proposed that he personally advance $7 million. He added that the value at the moment was $22 million and that they could take it from Ayala with the $7 million and a note for the balance. He asked if they would agree to join him and once the Sotogrande project was in their names, pay back the $7 million by selling off a small portion and keep the rest for themselves.

Ron said he would need approval of the Board of Directors for such an undertaking, but Zobel soon made it clear that he was not talking about Bishop Baldwin. He was talking about setting up a new company with just the three of them holding all the stock. He explained that to lessen the complications from Spain, they could call the new corporation Ayala of the U.S.A., or Hawaii.

The Sultan said he would most certainly join in, however, his interest would have to be kept just between the three of them and could not be reflected publicly. Ron saw this as a great opportunity to obligate the Sultan and Zobel and said if they wished, he could summon one of his secretaries and attorneys, who would know just what to do and how to structure such a corporation. They agreed and Ron buzzed Myra and asked her to send in Tim Holzer. In four minutes, he arrived, pen and pad in hand. Enrique and Ron explained what they wanted and he took notes. Ron asked how long it would take for him to rush this corporation through, prepare the documents and register the name. He said a couple of hours.

The three all looked at each other and nodded in agreement….

After more very informative conversation, Tim Holzer buzzed Ron and said that he had the corporation papers prepared if the new partners wanted to sign them. Ron told him to come right over.

In less than fifteen minutes, Zobel and Ron signed the papers and established Ayala of Hawaii. Ron, Zobel and the Sultan all shook hands. They all knew that they would be seeing a lot more of each other….

The meeting broke up at 2:37 p.m. with Ron wishing the Sultan a pleasant and safe return home. They agreed that Ron would talk with Zobel in the nest week and that he and Ron would go to Spain in August to check out the development and, of course, play a little polo. … Next, they shook hands and hugged in the Arab way.

Ron was now a partner with the world’s two richest men….

~ ~ ~


Jackie Vos was at home watching a TV news report.

“It was just last night that Rewald was rushed to Queen’s Hospital after his apparent suicide attempt…”

The phone suddenly rang away her concentration….

“Jackie, Bob Allen here. How are you doing?”

Bob and Angelo were in the midst of pouring over a mass of documents spread all over the counters, beds and tables of the room in a large deluxe suite at the Kahala Regency Apartment complex.

“Well, Bob, I could be better,” Jackie replied.

“I assume you saw the evening news last night? How about a drink this afternoon? It’s important.”

“Sure,” Jackie replied….

Later, Jackie was not surprised to find Angelo waiting with Bob in the bar….

“Good to see you, Jackie,” Angelo said. “You look great.”…

“I called you,” he explained, “because Ron’s in trouble. We’re trying to help him; and you too.”

Jackie frowned, eyeing the two men warily.

“You know Ron was dirty,” Bob continued. “He was laundering dirty money. He had plenty of time to clean up his act, get into legitimate investments, but he wouldn’t heed our warnings.”…

“We just had to take action,” Bob resumed….

“What kind of action?” she asked.

“Jackie,” Bob replied, his voice turning cold, “we have two men coming. They’ll tell Ron what we expect. If he obeys, he’ll live. If not, he’ll be dead by morning.”

Jackie, visibly shaken, gasped. Angelo moved a little closer to her.

“That would be such a waste,” Angelo said. “I saved his life, you know. If I hadn’t called the hotel and alerted them, he’d be dead by now.”

“How did you know he was at the hotel?” Jackie asked, cringing away from him. She was really frightened now. How did they know Ron was at the hotel, what room he was in…”

“We want to help you,” Bob interjected … “but you have to help us, too.” …

“There’s a lot of money missing,” Bob explained. “We’ve located 22 million but there’s more. Documents that might tell us where it is are missing, too.” He took a slow sip from his glass, and fixed his gaze on her. “We think you might know where they are.”

“No,” Jackie said, shaking her head vigorously….

“You know about the green book,” Bob went on, “maybe even where it is?”

She shook her head more vigorously than before….

~ ~ ~

The CIA’s former Chief of Litigation, John Peyton, arrived in Honolulu to take charge.

Cable traffic was working overtime between CIA Headquarters in Langley and the Hawaii station in the days and hours following the collapse of Bishop Baldwin. Agents were pouring over the information and material they’d taken from the offices. Most of the material was highly classified. Langley was very concerned. Not only because of the loss of a major company asset, but of the possible revelations that could result.

The press was easily steered away by Agency and government personnel who did this better than anyone else on earth. All communication was classified Secret or Top Secret, with special emphasis placed on finding the green book. Its contents could prove extremely useful, but even more important, they could prove damaging beyond belief to the Agency and the government.

Peyton was commended for the outstanding job he was doing in keeping Bishop Baldwin files out of the hands of the court-appointed bankruptcy trustees, Ron’s attorney and law enforcement investigators….

* * *

From BOHICA, by Scott Barnes, with Melva Libb, 1987:

From the book jacket:

In 1981, Scott Barnes was asked by a member of the Intelligence Support Activity (ISA), a top-secret U.S. government organization (as revealed in TIME Magazine, August 31, 1987) to participate in a mission to investigate reports of live American prisoners of war in Laos. The government-sanctioned Operation Grand Eagle confirmed and documented the existence of POWs. What follows is an incredible story of one man’s attempt to tell the truth despite government interference.

Documents, photos, letters, names, dates, places and phone numbers, make this true account as compelling as a fiction spy thriller. A top-secret mission, photographs “destroyed during processing” by the CIA, suspicious deaths, bribery and threats, criminal convictions on false evidence, coverups at the highest levels of government, and official pressure to quiet the media and government agencies add to the mystery.

This is not fiction. American fighting men languish in communist prison camps in SE Asia – forsaken by the government that sent them there….

The Initial Contact

March, 1981

The Hope Chapel people in Maui, Hawaii, were just as sincere and comfortable to be with as those I’d left behind in Hermosa Beach. For three or four weeks I bummed around on the beach. Then one of the men told me about a possible opening for a security consultant at a Wailea Beach resort where celebrities held big parties and golf classics. Hired to pose as a maintenance man, doing repairs and using a long stick with a nail on the end of it to pick up cigarette butts and trash, I was there to insure that V.I.P. guests were not harassed or disturbed and to keep an eye on company employees making sure they did not disturb the clients….

During my time of employment at the resort, a man named Rewald held a large party. Double security – the resort’s and the government’s – was ordered. The government security people were pointed out to me so I wouldn’t sound an alarm if they were seen snooping around.

Little did I realize what a significant part Rewald would play in my own life in the future….

Back to Hawaii

September, 1983

An Investment Consultant named Ron Rewald was in jail in Hawaii, waiting trial in November. I remembered the name. His firm, Bishop, Baldwin, Rewald, Dillingham and Wong, a front for many major illegal CIA operations, had been charged with swindling investors out of more than twenty million dollars. Rewald, the one we were to call if we needed more money or equipment for Bohica, was indicted by the Federal Grand Jury on one hundred counts of fraud, perjury and tax evasion. I was to assess his mental and emotional condition and make sure he didn’t talk too much about his previous government dealings.

Suspicious, I said to Stein, “You guys burned me on the Bo Gritz thing. How do I know this isn’t another set up?”

“No, no,” he said, assuring me that in the past I had been dealing with agents who were no longer with the agency and that the Gritz mess would clear up, given enough time.

My situation had certainly not improved by staying around fighting for truth. By this time I was receiving a lot of flak because of a letter I had written to Soldier of Fortune magazine in an attempt to correct the misinformation in their previous article about me. … Perhaps it would be best for me to leave the mainland for a while….

Upon arrival in Hawaii, I looked up my pastor/friend Ralph Moore who had gone to Kahnoe Bay a few months earlier to open another Hope Chapel….

“What are you doing here?” he asked, wide-eyed with surprise and smiling.

“I decided to come to work with you for a while. Help you start the church.”

“Great!” … “Come in and meet some of the new people.” Suddenly he stopped and turned toward me. “You’re not here because of the Rewald affair, are you?”…

“Rewald? Who’s that?”

“Big CIA case here. The guy’s in prison waiting trial. It’s been on the front page of the paper nearly every day. … It smells.”

Upon my suggestion Joan Griffiths, church secretary … agreed to allow me to use her mailing address until I had my own, then invited me to start coming to her home in Honolulu for Bible Study.

Some days later she met me at my hotel and drove me to her Honolulu residence. Before we got out of her car, she warned me, “Scott, I have a gut feeling that you’re over here because of the Rewald case. If you are, please don’t involve the chruch. I’ll say no more.”

In order for me to get into the prison to see Rewald, the CIA saw to it that the Department of Motor Vehicles of the State of Hawaii had marked “Christian minister” as my profession on my driver’s license….

In the role of pastor, I had written Rewald several letters that he had answered. This helped me get in to see him successfully, although the prison staff commented that I looked too young to be a seasoned preacher….

This worked for a couple of weeks, but every time I signed, “Rev. Barns” on the prison register my conscience would not let me rest. I felt like a hypocrite.

“Look, it’s not working,” my contact agent finally admitted to me. “You’ll have to get a job as a prison guard in order to make sure Rewald doesn’t talk.”

“One week I’m a minister, then the next a prison guard. How’s that going to work?”

“Don’t worry,” I was told. Somehow it was arranged for me to be assigned as a guard to Module 8, Oahu Community Corrective Center, the module where Rewald was in high security protective custody….

During my nine-to-ten week stay in Hawaii, Pulitzer Prize author Sy Hersh came to the University of Hawaii to lecture on his book about Henry Kissinger. As a result of the questions asked by some of the persons in attendance, his lecture included a discussion about Bo Gritz and confirmed that Operation Grand Eagle was an official government mission. After the lecture I introduced myself to him and he asked if we could talk further.

We met in the oceanfront coffee shop at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and talked about the Rewald case also. He knew the CIA was deeply involved, especially after the Nugan/Hand bank collapse when a way for channeling large quantities of money out of the Golden Triangle was needed.

All over the world press releases were implicating admirals, generals and the CIA. Millions of dollars were disappearing. David Taylor of BBC did an extensive investigative story on the Rewald exposé.

After a one-month-long career as prison guard, my contact agents met with me at the Royal Hawaiian and gave me orders, “Rewald must be killed.”

Another Bo Gritz game after all! I should have known!

I hurried to my hotel room and began to pack. There was a knock at my door.

“Mr. Barnes?”

I opened the door. “Yes, sir?”

It was the Honolulu sheriff. He had come to serve a subpoena from the Attorney General of the State of Hawaii. Now what do I do? I wondered, realizing that if Stein had lied and this was a set-up, someone could kill Rewald, make it look as though I had done it and get me for conspiracy to commit murder.

As soon as the sheriff had left, I phoned Attorney General Tany Hong. “What’s this all about?”

“We want to talk to you about your position at the prison and about the Rewald case. You were hired without any processing . Why was your photo never taken, no fingerprints or ID made? …”

“Could I talk to you right now?” I asked, wanting to get back to the mainland as quickly as possible….

In the meantime, the Attorney General had been called to the prison on an emergency by the FBI, so when I arrived at the governor’s offices I was questioned by Jim Dannenberg, Deputy State Attorney General about my ministerial status and my current job as prison guard….

Then Deputy Dannenberg asked, “What happened on that mission to Southeast Asia you claim to be part of?”

“Well …” I hesitated to answer.

Sensing my reluctance to talk to him, he said, “Oh, well, I’m not even the one who is supposed to be questioning you. The Attorney General should be doing that. Go back to your hotel. I’ll note on your subpoena you were here and tell the Attorney General when he returns you will appear for the Grand Jury investigation.

That same day I received a call from an irate Attorney General Tany Hong. He was upset that I had talked to anyone but him and warned I was not to talk to anyone else about the case….

He gave me a December date for my hearing, warning, “You be here.” Knowing I was under so much suspicion that even if I had done nothing wrong I could be in a lot of trouble, I left my car and belongings behind, bought a plane ticket under an assumed name and flew to LAX.

Give up? Why not!

Rewald, according to reports, attempted suicide, although he claims he doesn’t remember doing it. Both of his arms were slit. The question I ask is, how could he have cut his own tendons in one are then pick up a knife with that same arm and cut the tendons in the other?

During the trial, General Hunter Harris testified that at Rewald’s approval he had given Gritz funds for Bohica on behalf of the CIA. John Kindschi, CIA chief in Honolulu and Jack Rardin had concurred with this Rewald/Harris decision. Rewald was found guilty of fraud, perjury and tax evasion and was sentenced to 80 years in Terminal Island Prison in California….

After I had worked as juvenile counselor at Kern County Probation Department only about six months, Peter Jennings did an ABC news story that told about my connection with Gritz and the POW controversy. The CIA filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission against ABC. This was the first time in U.S. history any such action had occurred.

During the hearings, Stanley Sporkin, General Counsel of the CIA (also counselor for the CIA who wrote up the documents on the Iran-Contra affair) admitted I had signed a secrecy agreement. It was then ABC admitted they had given the tapes of my interviews with Koppel to the CIA and the case was closed….

All this bad publicity caused a great deal of excitement at my place of employment. My colleagues kept making comments like, “Hey, we saw you on Peter Jennings” … “Who are you really?” Our new director of Camp Owen, Jim Norton, called me to his office. “What’s all this with the CIA?”

“I really can’t discuss it,” I told him. “Besides, it’s not pertinent to my work here.”

“Well, I don’t like it, and I’m going to do everything in my power to get you fired.”…

After only a couple of days, I was informed by Norton I had been fired. The reasons included, among other things, failure to state my alleged CIA involvement, not giving explanations for leaving my law enforcement jobs in Ridgecrest and San Diego and for not giving a two-week notice when I resigned from the prison guard job in Hawaii….

I appealed and there was a hearing in Superior Court, Bakersfield. Of course, the media were there. Judge Sarah Adler ruled against me on everything except the failure to give a two-week notice count. Following the hearing, T. Glenn Brown, chief probation officer of Kern County whom I respect and admire, came to me. “Scott, I must admit you’re one of the best probation counselors I’ve ever had in Kernville. I mean that. I can’t reveal to you why we were forced to get rid of you but I want you to know we had no choice.”

“But you’ve ruined my life.” I was bitter. “No income. No job.”…

I was not the only one who was deeply disappointed when I lost my employment. Donna, who was expecting our second child at the time, felt if I had never pushed on for truth about why the two men I had seen in Laos and the who-knows-how-many others they represented were never rescued, we could have settled down to a peaceful normal life. I could have retained a stable nine-to-five job with a steady income.

A college had advertised for an instructor with considerable college background plus experience in security, intelligence, and investigation. … I was thoroughly surprised to receive a call telling me I had been selected as top candidate for the job….

Besides teaching at the college, I continued to travel in connection with further investigation in the Rewald case, making investigative visits to China Lake, Miramar Naval/Air Base in San Diego, trips to Edwards Air Force Base and to Frisco for Federal and Rewald’s personally hired attorneys.

Convinced Rewald was innocent of many of the accusations and having been set up once too often myself, I was anxious to clear my name and get the real story uncovered….


One of the major reasons Scott Barnes will never be able to “get over” the experiences of the last five or six years is, of course, his memory of the two men he and Jerry Daniels photographed left behind in Laos and the impact and sacrifice this experience has caused.

But there is another reason as well. Certain people in our government will not allow him to forget. Although he has been warned time and time again to keep his mouth shut and has been told “I don’t know you … Forget this ever happened,” he continues to receive calls and visitors from official governmental divisions pressing him to reveal names and information about issues he does not even want to be involved with.

On January 3, 1987, Scott received a phone call from Mike Figpan from the U.S. government office of Personnel Management Investigations, (619) 293-6170. Figpan wanted to visit and discuss various cases in connection with General Vang Pao. While with Scott, Figpan informed him someone in the government had issued an all States order that Scott Barnes was never to be employed in any government-related job, the main source of Scott’s income. When Scott related this to Ross Perot, he found it hard to believe anyone in government would do such a thing, but upon checking, found not only was it true but Figpan had lied about which branch of the government he had represented.

Within the following days, several present and former key government officials talked with Scott about the Iran/Contra affair, seeking any information he might have that would shed light on this case.

On January 28, 1987, Scott received a call from his brother Brian. Two U.S. Federal agents had entered his brother’s place of business looking for Scott. Special Sr. Agent Bill Vissard and Keith Dunkel, Federal Badge #1593, wanted to talk to him about arms smuggling from Indochina to Central America with Lieutanant Colonel Bo Gritz during the time of the mission and about CIA-Vang Pao connections….

January 29, these two U.S. agents drove into Kernville in a vehicle with license number IG25547 and served Scott with a subpoena to U.S. Federal Court in Oklahoma City to testify in a secret grand jury hearing in regard to the alleged arms dealings.

“Remember me?” Dunkel asked. Scott told him he did not. “You and I worked together on the Hell’s Angels case about ten years ago. Remember Jeff Rome?”


“He worked on the CIA Rewald case with you a couple of year ago. He’s now in Vegas. I’m out of the Fresno office.” He discussed with Scott many aspects of the upcoming case and possible connections with personnel in the Executive Branch….

On January 30, 1987, U.S. Federal Supervising Marshal Mike Nelson from Fresno, California, called regarding what would be expected of him in the case. Having referred Scott back to the U.S. Attorney, Scott spoke to Korotash once again. Basically he was told “This is a secret criminal investigation into shipment of arms and explosives. I am not at liberty to discuss this any further. You will be asked questions of the Federal Grand Jury in secret. If you do not appear at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, February 5, 1987, U.S. Marshals will then be ordered by a Federal Judge to pick you up.”…

The hearing was cancelled….

Soon David Taylor warned Scott that Frank Panessa, senior inspector for DEA Internal Security for the Office of Responsibility, would be in touch with him. Having met with Panessa for a couple of hours and feeling that he was legit, Taylor encouraged Scott to talk with him. A meeting was set up for Tuesday, April 7, 1987. Panessa and Bonneville, his associate, met Scott at the airport, drove him to a supposedly secured building in the area where they talked for nearly three hours. (Scott has since learned that the room in which they met was bugged.) This meeting with such a key governmental official, which Scott believed would be the breakthrough he had been seeking for so many years, he now feels was another set-up.

Where can he be heard? Whom can he trust? Where can an American citizen turn for protection and credibility when his government persists in attempts to destroy him? Should Scott Barnes just give up and live with the haunting memories of Bohica?

How will the American people respond to his story? To the POW disgrace?

How will Bohica end?


September 13, 1985

Hawaii Five-0 Star Testifies in Fraud Case

Lord figures in real-life drama

The Mail-Star, Halifax, Dartmouth, N.S.

Honolulu (AP) – Jack Lord, who starred in the TV series, Hawaii Five-0, testified in the real-life drama of a former businessman accused of running a $22-million fraud scheme.

Lord testified in federal court in the case of Ronald Rewald, who is accused of scores of fraud, perjury and income-tax charges.

He said he had considered Rewald a friend, but denied Rewald’s contention that he was a consultant for the now-defunct investment firm of Bishop, Baldwin, Rewald, Dillingham and Wong.

Lord testified he was unaware that his name was listed on the company’s organization chart, that one of the company’s offices was referred to by staffers as Jack Lord’s office, or that his name was painted on one of the company’s reserved parking stalls.

“If he (Rewald) told anyone that I was occupying an office…it would have been a damnable lie,” Lord said.

“I hate to be used,” Lord added. “Anyone hates to be used. I would have considered that being used.”

Prosecutors contend Rewald bilked millions of dollars from investors to finance an expensive lifestyle.

Rewald says he set up and ran the company at the direction of the Central Intelligence Agency.

The agency has admitted only a minor connection with the firm, which went bankrupt in 1983.


October 2, 1985

Government Rests Case Against Rewald

By Charles Memminger, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Yesterday, the government rested its case against Rewald after eight weeks of trial in which 132 witnesses were called and thousands of pages of documents were admitted into evidence.

But the main point of the government’s case was summed up in one word by its first witness, Thomas Hayes, administrator of Rewald’s bankrupt company.

Asst U.S. Attorney John Peyton asked Hayes what was the business of Bishop, Baldwin, Rewald, Dillingham & Wong.

“Scam,” Hayes replied.

It was Hayes who first called Rewald’s operation a scam and a Ponzi scheme. On Aug. 4, 1983, five days after Rewald attempted suicide, Hayes walked the few blocks from federal court to the Grosvenor Center and took control of the company.

Only moments before, angry creditors had forced Rewald’s company into bankruptcy and Hayes had been named interim trustee. As trustee, it was his job to secure all company assets, freeze all bank accounts and keep files from disappearing.

Hayes said he found no accounting books for the company. Within hours of walking into the office, he told his attorneys, James Wagner and Don Geiber, “This looks like a scam,” Hayes testified.

It also didn’t take long to realize that much of the company money, which Hayes said was investors’ money, was spent on Rewald’s personal possessions. Some 30 hours after the bankruptcy declaration, Hayes was back in court to get an order stopping Rewald from transferring any of his personal assets.

Eventually, U.S. Judge Martin Pence froze all of Rewald’s assets, leaving the one-time multimillionaire indigent.

HAYES SAID he then began a “long and arduous task” of tracking Bishop Baldwin’s financial activities and searching for any hidden assets….

Hayes said he was told that there were secret assets overseas invested by the CIA.

Rewald was let out of prison, where he was being held on $10 million bail on state theft charges, to go to the trustee’s office to show him where the hidden assets were.

But none was found, Hayes said.

Hayes then checked out rumors that CIA money was funneled into certain accounts– including those of former CIA field office chief Jack Kindschi and retired Air Force Gen Arnold Braswell— through Chase Manhattan Bank. But Hayes said he found that the money put into these accounts came from family members or through explainable sources.

HAYES SAID he did not check out rumors that Rewald was involved in a military arms deal with Taiwan, despite seeing telexes between Rewald and two consultants concerning the alleged deal. The government contends such a deal never went through.

Rewald claims the arms deal would have generated some $10 million in commissions to pay off investors.

The only real assets of Bishop Baldwin were the office furniture and a few business that were money-losers, Hayes said. Although $22 million had moved through Rewald’s bank accounts, during Bishop, Baldwin’s heyday, at the time Hayes took over the main bank account was overdrawn, he said.

Hayes said he has filed a claim against the CIA but does not expect to collect any money from the agency. Other investors also have sued the CIA in an attempt to regain their lost money.

REWALD CLAIMS the CIA set up and ran his company and is responsible for the investors’ money. He claims he lived a lavish lifestyle for the CIA in order to mingle with highly placed foreigners.

The CIA denies that but does admit it used Rewald for “light cover” for a few of its agents.

It claims it gave Rewald $2,900 for telephone and telex expenses….


From FreeAmerica, by Harry V. Martin, 1995:


It has been a long and intriguing tale, almost unbelievable, but finally the events of 1983 have incontrovertibly collided with the truth of 1990….

What brought this picture more clearly into focus in 1990 was the recent publication of a book written by the Emmy award-winning producers of CBS’s 60 Minutes, Monika Jensen-Stevenson and William Stevenson. The book, Kiss The Boys Goodbye, does not mention the main characters that played a multi-million drama in Napa seven years earlier, but it does provide the missing pieces of a complex puzzle involving international intrigue, murder, bankruptcy, money laundering, covert CIA operations, and the loss of homes and money in Napa. . . .

It is about a man called Robert W. Jinks, a Napa attorney, a trustee and a financial and real estate speculator. Close to $3.4 million … was lost when both Jinks and his Hawaiian counterparts collapsed.

It is a similar story to LandVest, in which a barge carrying 56 tons of illegal drugs was seized in San Francisco Bay. After the Drug Tug bust, LendVest and Joseph Matthews Winery financially collapsed. This was followed by personal bankruptcies of various principles associated with the scandal. The domino theory also applied in the Jinks case.

Jinks promised investors a 20% return on their investments. Many investors mortgaged their homes to invest in Jinks’ scheme . . . The money that Jinks raised from Napa homeowners was funneled to a company called Bishop, Baldwin, Rewald, Dillingham & Wong (BBRDW). . . .

Jinks had claimed at the time of BBRDW’s demise and his subsequent personal bankruptcy, that BBRDW was a front for the Central Intelligence Agency. Few people in Napa really bought Jinks’ story. They only focused on their personal losses. Jinks also lost his home.

Kiss The Boys Goodbye does not mention Jinks’ name . . . But it does provide documented proof that Jinks was telling the truth. BBRDW was a CIA operation used to finance covert operations in Southeast Asia and South America. One of its principles, Ronald H. Rewald, is now serving a life term in federal prison and was targeted for assassination, according to Kiss The Boys Goodbye. Rewald had a long CIA connection and has served both in the field and in worldwide financing operations, even though he had no financial background or expertise. [Sounds like he should have been a Bishop Estate trustee.] . . .

During this time period, Congress was becoming more critical of CIA operations and was commencing to be more cautious on what was funded. Inside Job: The Looting of America’s Savings and Loans indicated that the CIA was laundering drug money through banks and other financial institutions during the same period of time Jinks and BBRDW were involved in virtually “stealing” the money of innocent Napa investors and financing covert CIA operations. . . .

In Sept 1983 BBRDW collapsed, jeopardizing Napa investments in the company, placed there by Jinks. Approximately 400 people had invested from $10 million to $12 million in BBRDW. At the time of its collapse, the Hawaiian firm only had $2 million in assets. Rewald, who attempted suicide after the financial collapse of BBRDW, was convicted of embezzlement.

He received an extremely unusual sentence from the court (a court that sealed all his records): life in federal prison.

In contrast, former LendVest Trustee Charles Duck received a 27-month federal prison sentence for embezzling at least $2.3 million.

Rewald is currently serving that sentence on Terminal Island. The financial collapse of BBRDW was investigated by the IRS, SEC and the FBI, all agencies that would normally conduct such an investigation. However, the CIA was also part of the investigation. The CIA, by law, has no domestic authority . . . BBRDW records were sealed at the request of national security officials – again a very unusual action. Even the prosecution of the case was rather strange.

“The really fantastic thing was that Rewald’s prosecution was led by a former CIA man who left the agency two weeks before Rewald was indicted. Then he turned up as Assistant District Attorney on the case. He cut off the line of inquiry that might embarrass the CIA, and one result was that no documents relating to the POW/MIA issue never got into the public domain in court…”

Certain evidence was not exhibited in court; all the same, the Chief District Judge Harold M. Fong, ruled: “They relate to the highly emotional issues of the missing-in-action and prisoners-of-war,” the book states.

Under truth serum, a CIA operative told 60 Minutes that “the CIA hired him to kill a crook named Ronald Rewald, who was also hired by the CIA to run a bank that laundered drug money. But the crook took the agency for a ride. He’s in jail and threatening to tell all.”

The operative said he was ordered to silence Rewald….

BBRDW was the successor to the CIA-operated Australian Nugan Hand Bank. The Nugan Hand Bank fell in 1979 when one of its founders, Francis John Nugan, was shotgunned to death– Australian police reported that a “CIA calling card” was found on the body– and the other founder, Michael Jon Hand, disappeared.

“Prominent American military and intelligence figures had been associated with Nugan Hand. The same names were mentioned in connection with the financial institution’s successor, the Hawaiian investment firm known as BBRDW,” Kiss The Boys Goodbye states.

BBRDW was laundering drug money from the CIA in its guns-for-drugs covert operation. These funds were also used by the CIA for assassinations of supporters of Asian and South American left-wing governments, according to the 60 Minutes producers and the BBC….

But who was this man, Rewald?

Rewald, according to a host of books, was definitely a CIA operative. In fact, his attorney, Dan Sheehan … stated in a radio program on Nov 4, 1990, that Rewald was definitely a CIA operative. . . .

Ted Greenburg, a CIA representative objected to the judge providing Sheehan with a security clearance. He said that it was an outrage because Rewald would be allowed to tell Sheehan “all kinds of national security stuff.” After the judge provided Sheehan with the clearance, Rewald opened up to him.

“So Rewald just unloaded all this stuff. This included the documents which showed that Bo Gritz was getting letters of recommendation directly from General Staff officers recommending him for this mission (the search for POWs in Laos) and the money was all handled through Rewald’s office,” Sheehan said in the radio interview.

“One of the things that Rewald told me was that he was told to come to Colorado to pick up this huge suitcase full of cash. The cash had been laundered through OTC NET, the over-the-counter penny stock exchange that is in Denver. Rewald didn’t know it, but it turns out that the money came from cocaine trafficking. He picked up the suitcase full of cash and he was told to fly to a particular place in Uruguay and go to a specific hotel. He brought the money into the hotel and set it down in the lobby.

There waiting for him, were Licio Gelli and Klaus Barbie.

The money was to pay for the Exocet missiles. Heinrich Rupp had cut the deal….


Who are these people and what is the importance of the Exocet missile? The missiles purchased at that meeting were sold to Argentina at the time of the Falkland Island war. It was used to sink a British troop transport in May 1982, killing hundreds of British sailors and soldiers. … It is a French-made weapon by Aerospatiale. . . .


Known as the Nazi butcher of Lyons, France during World War II, Barbie was part of the SS which was responsible for the torture and death of thousands of French people under the Germany occupation. . . .

In order to escape from Europe after World War II, top ranking Nazi officials had to pay out 40% of all the money they had accumulated during the war. Gelli collected the funds.

Barbie did not have to part with any of his ill-gained riches– his 40% share was paid to Gelli by the U.S. Counterintelligence Corps, which employed Barbie in espionage work until Feb 1951….

The philosophy behind the U.S. intelligence support of Nazi war criminals was that they could be used to spy on the Communists. … The Nazis had the organization intact in Europe and it was deemed expedient for the U.S. intelligence to keep the operations running….

During the war, Barbie had deported Jews to death camps, tortured and murdered the resistance fighters who fell into his hands, and served as the political Gestapo in Nazi-occupied Lyons. At war’s end, Barbie fled back to Germany, went to work for the U.S. and eventually fled to South America with the permission and financial support of the United States.

In Bolivia, Barbie went under the name of Klaus Altmann, an important business man.

Even in South America, Barbie’s murderous activities did not cease. As a member of Fiancé of Death, he participated in the murder and torture in a small tin-mining community near Oruro in Bolivia. To avoid attracting attention to themselves, the Fiancé of Death would drive into villages or working class areas in ambulances with red crosses marked prominently on the vehicles and carry off their victims, most of whom were never seen again….

A Nazi-hunter eventually illegally captured Barbie in South America many years later. Barbie was bound and taken back to Europe to stand trial.

This is only one individual in the long line of Rewald connections…


Head of a 2400 member secret Masonic Lodge, P2, a neo-fascist organization in Italy that catered to only the elite, Gelli had high connections in the Vatican, even though he was not a Catholic. P2’s membership is totally secret and not even available to its Mother Lodge in England. Gelli was responsible for providing Argentina with the Exocet missile. He was a double agent for the CIA and the KGB. He assisted many former Nazi high officials in their escape from Europe to Central America.

He had close ties to the Italian Mafia. Gelli was a close associate of Benito Mussolini. He was also closely affiliated with Robert Calvi, head of the scandal-ridden Vatican Bank. Calvi was murdered. Gelli’s secret lodge consisted of extremely important people, including armed forces commanders, secret service chiefs, head of Italy’s financial police, 30 generals, eight admirals, newspaper editors, television and top business executives and key bankers– including Calvi. . . .

The Anselmi Commission was established by the Italian Parliament to investigate Gelli, who escaped to Switzerland, was arrested, and allowed to escape again to South America. No one really wanted Gelli in custody because he was a friend of Presidents, Popes, assassins, Communists, Nazis and several heads of state, along with having a special relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency. . . .

Gelli worked both sides. He helped to found the Red Brigade, spied on Communist partisans and worked for the Nazis at the same time, a double agent. He helped establish the Rat Line, which assisted the flight of high-ranking Nazi officials from Europe to South America, with passports supplied by the Vatican and with the full acknowledgment and blessing of the United States intelligence community.

While on the one hand, the U.S. participated in the war crime tribunals of key Nazi officials and maintained an alliance with the Communist Soviet Union, secretly the U.S. was preparing for the cold war and needed the help of Nazis in the eventual struggle . . . Gelli’s agreement with U.S. intelligence to spy on the Communists after the war was instrumental in saving his life.

He was responsible for the murder and torture of hundreds of Yugoslavian partisans. . . .

The Operations Research Office of the Pentagon was doing historical research into the use of native collaborators by the Nazis in the hope of obtaining information of value in the event of an American invasion of the Soviet Union. An ex-army sergeant named Henry A. Kissinger was one of the ORO consultants. Kissinger had served with the 970th CIC unit in Germany, where his specialty was identifying Gestapo and SS officers hiding out among the civilian population.

Klaus Barbie was one of those hiding out. Gelli, through American financing, helped many high-ranking Nazis escape to South America after their services were used by American intelligence.

The Vatican provided support to Nazis and Fascists because the Communists were the real threat to the Church’s survival. The Italian Communists would have taxed the Church’s vast holdings and the Church has had a dismal experience with Communist governments throughout the world– where religious freedom was stamped out.

Gelli was well-connected with the Vatican from the days of the Rat Line and he worked for American intelligence, as well. Gelli formed the P-2 Masonic Lodge … and it was supplied with a sum of $10 million a month by the CIA. Its membership was a Who’s Who in the intelligence, military and Italian community.

So prominent was Gelli’s influence, that he was even a guest of honor at the 1981 inauguration of President Ronald Reagan….

The Anselmi Commission Report claims that Gelli was connected to the death of Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, a left wing publisher. Gelli was also accused in the Report of Financing the Black Order which killed 16 people and injured 88, a Milan bombing at the Piazza Fontana.

There were other bombings: at Rome’s National Bank of Labor and at the monument of King Victor Emmanual II.

It was Gelli’s Red Brigade that kidnapped and murdered Aldo Moro, the head of the Christian Democratic party and soon to be president of Italy….

Gelli used blackmail in order to gain prominent members of his P-2 lodge. Its membership is estimated at 2400 members, including 300 of the most powerful men in the Western World. He was a close friend of Pope Paul VI, Juan Peron of Argentina, Libyan Dictator Muammar el-Qaddafi, and many high officials in the Italian and American governments. He is also reported to have had some financial dealings with the George Bush for President campaign.

Gelli and his P-2 lodge had staggering connections to banking, intelligence and diplomatic passports. The CIA poured hundreds of millions of dollars into Italy in the form of secret subsidies for political parties, labor unions and communications businesses. . . .

This covert financing was exposed by the Prime Minister of Italy in a speech to Parliament. He indicates that more than 600 people in Italy still remain on the payroll of the CIA.

Information Report No. 446 informed a magistrate in Trent of the following information:

“It was Ted Shackley, director of all CIA secret activities in Italy in the 1970s, who presented Alexander Haig to the head of the P-2 Masonic Lodge. It was with the authorization of Haig and Henry Kissinger that Gelli recruited 400 high Italian and NATO officials into his lodge in the Fall of 1969.”


Rupp has been convicted of bank fraud. He was an operative for the CIA and is deeply involved in the Savings and Loan scandal. A federal jury has indicated they believe testimony that Rupp, the late CIA Director William Casey (then Ronald Reagan’s campaign manager), and Donald Gregg (now U.S. Ambassador to South Korea), flew with George Bush to Paris in 1980, during the election in which Bush was on the ticket with Reagan.

The testimony states that three meetings were held on Oct 19 and 20 at the Hotel Florida and Hotel Crillion. The subject? According to court testimony, the meetings were to sabotage President Jimmy Carter’s reelection campaign by delaying the release of American hostages in Iran. The hostages were released on Jan 20, 1981, right after Reagan and Bush were sworn into office.

Iran was promised return of its frozen assets in the United States and the foundation for the Iran-Contra deal was set into motion….

Rupp also had dealings with the Aurora Bank in Denver in association with New York’s Lucchese crime family. Rupp was convicted of bank fraud. He could have received 42 years in jail, but because of his ties with the CIA and the President, he was sentenced to only two years in jail….

Rupp has been a longtime CIA contract pilot. He flew for Global Air International out of Dallas. That airline is connected to the Iran-Contra scheme and also to Air America, an airline used by the CIA to smuggle drugs out of Southeast Asia.

According to Inside Job: The Looting of America’s Savings and Loans, “When Rupp was convicted of bank fraud in connection with the Aurora Bank case, a witness for the defense told the judge that the CIA commonly used financial institutions to launder drug money or scam loans before sending the money off to the Contras or to various other covert purposes….

* * *

It was Rupp, Barbie and Gelli who met with Rewald in South America for the purchase of the Exocet missile.

But that is only one facet of Rewald’s clandestine world, a world tied closely to the CIA, and could even explain why Rewald has been put away for life: he knows too much….

* * *

Rewald’s operation is described in The Crimes of Patriots as follows: “While covering for (CIA) agents and taking in millions from duped investors, Rewald was hardly living in the obscurity that people like Royal Commissioner Steward say they expect of the CIA. Rewald spent about $400,000 a month to keep lavish offices around the world and a high-salaried staff of prominent Hawaiians, including lawyers and CPAs. He spent $250,000 a month to please himself and his family.”

He owned a fleet of 12 limousines and other luxury cars worth up to $50,000 each, including an Excalibur, a Jaguar, two Mercedes, a Rolls, a Continental, and three Cadillacs. He hired chauffeurs not just for himself but also to take his five children to baseball practice, or to lessons with their $9,000-a-month private tutors. Rewald acquired title to his first Honolulu home, a villa, from former Cambodian Prime Minister Lon Nol.

The CIA agent who hired Rewald became a consultant to BBRDW after his retirement. Even Rewald’s blond executive assistant, former winner of the Miss Teenage America pageant, worked with the National Security Agency before being employed by BBRDW. Her resume shows she handled highly sensitive cryptoanalysis, missile trajectory data, and space data.

One of the lawyers for BBRDW was Lt. Clarence Gunderson, a reserve Air Force intelligence officer. When BBRDW collapsed, he was back in uniform giving intelligence briefings to the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force’s Pacific Command and dealing in highly classified Soviet data. BBRDW was filled with intelligence officers and high ranking retired military intelligence officers.

According to Crimes of Patriots, “Clients who lost fortunes in the Bishop, Baldwin fraud say Rewald would call them aside privately, either in his office or at his lavish parties at the private polo club he bought, and would point out the high government officials around. He would single out CIA and FBI personnel for particular attention. He would indicate that Bishop, Baldwin was part of the CIA, though cautioning the clients never to repeat it. The CIA connection proved their money was safe, he assured them.”

“If you can’t trust the government, who can you trust?” they recall him saying.

His parties were attended by such Hawaiian notaries as Governor and Mrs. George Ariyoshi and Lt. Governor John Waihee….


From Drugging America, by Rodney Stich . . .


Funding Secret Bank Accounts for U.S. Officials

In March 1996, Rewald gave me several boxes containing hundreds of CIA documents generated from the CIA’s secret operation in Hawaii. Within these boxes I found highly sensitive material, including notes that Rewald had made while the titular head of BBRDW.

Certain notes and information provided to me by Rewald divulged CIA drug related activities, including drug money laundering. As I gathered from looking over the material and by talking with Rewald, he was unaware of many of the CIA activities originating out of BBRDW.

Deeply imbedded in these documents was an envelope labeled “Attorney-Client information.” The information was dynamite, divulging secret bank accounts set up for well-known politicians and covert agency operatives.

The notes in the envelope listed high-level people with secret CIA-funded accounts.

The names on the left side of the notes were the aliases Rewald used to identify the people on the right for which there were secret bank accounts opened and funded by the CIA through BBRDW:

Irwin M. Peach . . . George Bush

Mr. Bramble . . . George Bush

Mr. Apan . . . Robert W. Jinks

Mr. Grey . . . Robert Allen

Farrah Fawn . . . Jackie Vos

General Shake . . . Arnold Braswell

Mr. Branch . . . Richard Armitage

Mr. Denile . . . William Casey

Slimey Affirm . . . Stanley Sporkin

Captain Perjury . . . Ned Avary

Attorney Doright . . . Robert Smith

Arnold Braswell was commander-in-chief of U.S. Pacific Air Force (CINCPAC).

Rewald’s notes also indicatedthat fictitious names were used to hide money for B.K. Kim, Philippines President Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, among others.

Richard Armitage was U.S. Assistant of Defense and reportedly heavily involved with drug trafficking while in Vietnam.

William Casey was Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Stanley Sporkin was legal counsel for the CIA, and then a federal judge in Washington, D.C. In this capacity, he unlawfully dismissed one of my federal actions seeking to expose the government corruption in which he was involved.

These notes, written by Rewald over ten years earlier when he was head of BBRDW, provided additional evidence of U.S. officials hiding their money in secret bank accounts overseas. The accounts were in financial institutions in Hong Kong, Switzerland, and the Caymans.

Information on another sheet that I found in Rewald’s papers revealed activities engaged in by CIA agents embedded into BBRDW and its various subsidiaries. These are the activities in which Rewald refused to get involved, including CIA drug trafficking.

These notes revealed other activities that I hadn’t known about earlier. While Rewald was hospitalized in Honolulu, sources kept him informed of some activities being taken to remove and hide the funds from BBRDW and subsidiary accounts.

General Hunter Harris called President George Bush to alert him that the cover on BBRDW had been blown, and wanted instructions as to how to proceed.

CIA head, William Casey, then called Robert W. Jinks, and told him to work with Robert Allen. Jinks was then ordered to proceed to Texas to get bank account numbers and then go to the Cayman Islands where the accounts were located.

Rewald’s notes indicated that someone from CIA headquarters at Langley, or an associate of Robert Allen, eventually went to the Cayman Islands and moved BBRDW’s funds to another offshore country. Robert Smith, who wasn’t directly involved in the money transfer but aware something was going on, leared that a General in Texas was to give Robert Jinks bank account information and the he, Robert Smith, was to go to the Caymans to retrieve the hidden money. General Arnold Braswell was to assist in this removal, but because of stress and his drinking problem, he was too unreliable and was not used.

Similar efforts were being taken to remove funds from BBRDW and subsidiary accounts in Hong Kong and Switzerland. About this time, funds were being received from secret arms sales and Rewald said that Ned Avary diverted these funds away from BBRDW.

While these events were taking place, Robert Allen sought to force Jackie Vos to disclose the whereabout of the Green Book that listed these accounts so as to destroy the records….

Rewald Invited to Washington by President George Bush

Rewald wrote in his notes that he had met President George Bush twice in Hawaii, and had been invited to meet with the president in Washington for lunch or dinner, along with someone that Rewald identified as “Brady.” All of these people were described in Rewald’s notes by their code names, but a separate sheet of paper identified who they were, except for “Brady.”

I asked Rewald about these, and he stated that he made the list of names with secret offshore bank account numbers. I asked Rewald, “Referring to the fictitious names for offshore bank accounts, do I correctly understand that you made up the alias names yourself?”

You mean, Peach for Bush? That was done well after the collapse [of BBRDW] and was done to disguise my reference to the accounts so that someone picking it up wouldn’t know what I was talking about. These people certainly had these accounts….


From Land and Power in Hawaii, by George Cooper and Gavan Daws . . .

Organized Crime

Organized Crime, by nature secretive and shrouded in a certain mystique, is difficult to study, in the Islands or anywhere else.

Greatly complicating the effort to assign a proper weight to organized crime in Hawaii have been unproven allegations, whispered for years and then made public from 1977 on, that a close associate of both of Hawaii’s Democratic governors was the leader of organized crime in the Islands.

In the end, the power position to be accorded organized crime in Hawaii … depended heavily on whether that friend of John Burns and George Ariyoshi, Larry E. Mehau, was or was not directing organized crime. . . .

~ ~ ~

In writing about organized crime in Hawaii, a given topic must often be left hanging, the full picture unclear. As of early 1985, the greatest enigma of all remained: what was Larry Mehau vis-a-vis the syndicate?

Gov. Burns in 1970 appointed Mehau to the powerful State Board of Land & Natural Resources. At about the same time, George Ariyoshi launched his first campaign for a statewide office, lieutenant governor, and he named Mehau his statewide coordinator. . . .

In Ariyoshi’s races for governor Mehau played a major role . . . Ariyoshi in 1974 reappointed him to a second BLNR term . . .

There were two camps of opinion apparently believing with equal certainty that Mehau was or was not the top man in organized crime in Hawaii….

To illustrate how widely opinion diverged on Mehau, consider the following:

In Feb 1977, KHON-TV reporter Scott Shirai aired a story following up on a heroin bust the previous summer . . .

Quoting unnamed “reliable sources,” Shirai said there were several prominent Hawaii residents who were members of the heroin ring who had not yet been arrested or publicly named.

He said one was “a member of a state board – the so-called ‘godfather’ of the operation. Several meetings were held between this State board member with those arrested in the bust, sometimes at the apartment of a well-known Waikiki entertainer.

One of those arrested worked for this entertainer and was also directed to act as a bodyguard for a candidate for statewide office in last year’s election. That candidate was also seen publicly with at least one of those arrested.

Then, in June, a small newspaper on Maui picked up the ball on the “godfather” question raised by Shirai. The Valley Isle created a major uproar by publishing several stories claiming Larry Mehau was the “godfather” of all organized crime in Hawaii.

Mehau subsequently sued the paper for libel, as he did a number of other media organizations that republished the allegations, as well as several individuals, including Shirai.

During the furor, two Republican politicians, Kinau B. Kamalii and D.G. “Andy” Anderson … met with the then-chief of the Honolulu Police Department, Francis A. Keala [later to be named as an interim trustee for Kamehameha Schools] … to ask him whether, in his opinion, Mehau was a syndicate godfather.

Anderson and Kamalii, talking to reporters later, could agree about Keala’s more concrete statements concerning Mehau and organized crime.

To quote Anderson: Keala described Larry’s position this way: He said that whenever there’s a gang war or fighting between factions and they want to talk it over, they call Larry and ask him to arrange a truce. He is used as a mediator. I understand, too, that even the police have on occasions asked him to intercede and bring peace to some situations.”

But Anderson and Kamalii diverged radically on what this might mean.

Anderson’s understanding was that Mehau was performing a sort of public service by mediating syndicate problems, and that this in no way made Mehau a godfather. Anderson also said that “the chief said Larry was nowhere involved in gambling, pimping, heroin, drugs or anything else as far as the police know.”

Kamalii, on the other hand … asked rhetorically: “If that isn’t aiding and abetting the underworld, what is? What is a godfather?”

For statements like these Kamalii was sued in 1977 by Mehau, who simultaneously sued a host of news media organizations and several other individuals. Most media defendants successfully sought dismissal on grounds that they were merely republishing statements made by the Valley Isle.

KHON-TV on behalf of itself and its reporter, Shirai, settled out of court with Mehau in 1978 for $42,500. . . .


September 15, 1988

Reed Releases the Documents on
U.S. Probe of Larry Mehau

By James Dooley, Honolulu Advertiser

State Sen. Rick Reed, co-defendant with City Prosecutor Charles Marsland in a libel suit filed by Hawaii businessman Larry Mehau, yesterday released to the media some 100 pages of laws enforcement “intelligence reports” concerning Mehau, some of them dating back to 1974.

Reed said the documents “point to Larry Mehau as the godfather” of organized crime in Hawaii. But Mehau’s attorney David Schutter, said the documents are “a joke” – unsubstantiated collections of “spurious” and anonymous charges. He said if the anonymous charges had any merit, Mehau long since would have been indicted….

Reed said yesterday he has repeatedly warned the public about the “godfather.”

“But too many politicians, bankers, labor and business leaders, as well as judges and members of the media, have continued to maintain friendly ties with Mehau,” Reed said….

The bulk of the reports released by Reed are intelligence reports written by agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration between 1974 and 1979.

Several of them state categorically that Mehau – a former police officer who now runs one of the largest security guard firms in the state – is the head of organized crime in Hawaii….


From Philippine Daily Inquirer, 10/31/99:

. . . A surprise witness is expected to corroborate industrialist Enrique Zobel’s claim that the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos gave gold bars worth $1 million to each of his favored men….

Amid a flurry of denials and verbal attacks sparked by his controversial deposition to Senate investigators, Zobel yesterday stuck to his story as he ended his third day of testimony.

He also said he learned that Marcos allegedly gave the gold bars to former President Fidel Ramos, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, the late Gen. Fabian Ver and the late Rep. Floro Crisologo between 1960 and 1970….

Before he died in 1989, Marcos also allegedly told Zobel that he had given “a small share of the gold bullion” and gold Rolex watches to 12 people. The so-called “Rolex 12” were allegedly the key strategists of martial rule….

Zobel, who was paralyzed from the neck down after an accident in 1991, yesterday put his thumb mark on his 69-page deposition at the Philippine consulate.

The last three days were an ordeal for the 72-year-old businessman who answered senators’ questions for several hours while strapped to a wheelchair….

* * *

Deposition of Mr. Enrique J. Zobel Before the Senate Committee on the Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations and Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies, at Philippine Consulate, Honolulu, Hawaii, on Oct 27, 1999:

THE CHAIRMAN. . . . Earlier, we also heard that you had communicated to Mr. Bongbong Marcos….

MR. ZOBEL. Yes. . . .

THE CHAIRMAN. All right. And then … he also told Chuck, “Nag-usap na rin kami nung Big Hawaiian, OK no planchado na.”

MR. ZOBEL. Now, the Big Hawaiian was here a while ago, his name is Larry Mehau.

THE CHAIRMAN. Ah, so Larry. So, you are referring to Larry Mehau?

MR. ZOBEL. Larry is here now. You could ask him directly, if Bongbong talked to him.

THE CHAIRMAN. Yes, we will come to that. Now this Inigo name which is mentioned here is your son, Mr. Zobel?

MR. ZOBEL. Yes, my son.

THE CHAIRMAN. And according to this letter of yours, you talked to Inigo and you asked him if he indeed talked with Bongbong? . . .

MR. ZOBEL. No. We called him by telephone . . .

THE CHAIRMAN. So the Big Hawaiian refers to Mr. Mehau?

MR. ZOBEL. Mehau. He is here.

THE CHAIRMAN. So, probably we will ask … We will take a break from the testimony of Mr. Zobel to ask Mr. Mehau if he is willing to answer a few questions regarding this point? Mr. Mehau, will you please come over, Mr. Mehau? Consul General, will you place Mr. Mehau under oath?

THE CHAIRMAN. . . . Kindly state for the record your name, Mr. Mehau, your full name.

MR. MEHAU. Larry Mehau.

THE CHAIRMAN. And how it’s spelled? M- e- h- a- u?
MR. MEHAU. Yes. . . .

THE CHAIRMAN. All right. Do you know a person by the name Noel C. Calixto, Mr. Mehau?

MR. MEHAU. I know of him, yes.

THE CHAIRMAN. Have you had any occasion to talk with him in the last few days?

MR. MEHAU. Yes, we had breakfast together.

THE CHAIRMAN. And what did you talk about if you can share that with us?

MR. MEHAU. Nothing as important as it was discussed here. I informed him that I was taking care of Mr. Zobel’s security.

THE CHAIRMAN. But there was no … anything that could be interpreted to mean that you were talking with Mr. Calixto regarding the Marcos wealth?

MR. MEHAU. Not about the Marcos wealth, but about his testimony.

THE CHAIRMAN. His testimony?


THE CHAIRMAN. Unless Senator Flavier wants to ask further questions.

SEN. FLAVIER. I have a follow-up question for Mr. Zobel. . . .

THE CHAIRMAN. . . . All right. Thank you, Mr. Mehau. Thanks a lot.

SEN. FLAVIER. . . . Don Enrique, yesterday you alluded to an incident purporting to show that there was threat to life referring, I think, to your children? . . . Could you just corroborate because I have a follow up question.

MR. ZOBEL. Well, I have had calls from my very close friends of mine to tell me that they overheard that they wanted to harm me or my children or my grandchildren. And please, necessary precaution in Hawaii before the deposition.

SEN. FLAVIER. Who was your informant, Don Enrique, who told you? You are at liberty to do so.

MR. ZOBEL. Well, I’m sorry, but he asked me please not to mention his name which I promised.

SEN. FLAVIER. That would be fine. . . .


From Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 08/25/01:

What ever happened to … RONALD REWALD ?

Scam Artist Ron Rewald Now a Free Man


What ever happened to Ronald Rewald, the man who bilked hundreds of Hawaii residents, including many business and social leaders, out of millions of dollars in the 1980s?


Rewald was convicted in 1985 and sentenced to 80 years in federal prison for bilking more than 400 investors out of more than $20 million.

On June 23, 1995, Rewald was released on parole from the Federal Correctional Institution Terminal Island facility in California. He was not eligible for parole until October 2015, but Asst. U.S. Attorney John Peyton believed a back injury Rewald suffered in prison may have been a factor in his early release.

Rewald is eligible to receive $150 per month because of the injury, which has confined him to a wheelchair.

Following his release, Rewald lived in Los Angeles and reported to his probation officer in Studio City. The federal Parole Commission later released Rewald from parole, and last September, the probation office closed Rewald’s case.

“I no longer have a file on him. It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen him,” said Randy Limbach, Rewald’s former probation officer.

# # #



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Last update July 22, 2006 by The Catbird