Serial 1981

Airtel

3/8/79

To: SAC, San Francisco
From: Director, FBI
RYMUR

Enclosed for San Francisco is one copy of a Departmental memorandum regarding People’s Temple’s assets.

Enclosure submitted for your information.

[Page 2]

March 7, 1979
Irene A. Ristau
Director, Office of Foreign Litigation
Civil Division

Peoples Temple Assets Abroad

See distribution

Further to our memorandum of February 23 1979 we enclose hereto an updated report on the status of the PT liquid assets in Guyana. Please substitute the updated Tab A for the Tab A which furnished undercover of our 2/3/79 memorandum.

[Page 3]

Summary

We have reason to believe that the Peoples Temple may have assets in the following foreign countries, as indicated:

1. Guyana $2,645,425* Tab A
2. Panama $7,335,792* Tab B
3. Switzerland $800,000 Tab C
4. Nassau, Bahamas $206,000 Tab D
5. Grenada, West Indies $76,000 Tab E
6. Venezuela $33,757 Tab F
7. Trinidad & Tobago Tab G
8. Curacao Tab H
9. Other Tab I
Total $11,096,974

* = estimate, partially confirmed

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Suspected PT bank accounts in Guyana

  1. Guyana National Cooperative Bank, Georgetown (GNCB)
    1. External Savings Acct. No. 29489/86, balance of: $G 324,955.86
    2. Current Acct. balance of:
      1. $G 14,786.67
      2. $G 3561.32
    3. Savings Acct. No. 28549, balance of: $G 513.12
  2. Barclays Bank, Georgetown
    1. Savings Acct. No. 9857/3, balance of $G 1,886,252.44
    2. Local Dollar Acct., balance of: $G 39,163.03
    3. External Acct., balance of: $G 30,890
  3. Bank of Guyana Treasury Bill #148 in amount of $G 1,000,000 in name of PT. Automatically reinvested every 3 months.

[Page 5]
3. Cash from Dennis Street, Port Kaituma and Russian Embassy:
a. Guyana currency
Notes: $G 87,619.00
72.45
72.45
87,691.45 (G) 33,727

b. U.S. currency
Notes: $15,022 15,022

Subtotal U.S. $1,037,647
(G $2,650,566)

4. *Indorsed US Government checks in the names of PT members and found at or near Jonestown
$330,501

5. Guyana National Cooperative Bank (Three accounts) ($G 343,816.97)
$132,237

6. Barclays Bank (Two accounts.) ($G 1,956,305)
$752,425

7. Bank of Guyana ($G 1 million; Treasury bills)
$394,615

Sub Total U.S. $1,607,778
Grand Total U.S. $2,645,425

* = $200,000 of these checks are now in custody of the AmEmb, Georgetown; the remaining checks are still in the custody of the Guyanese police, but will presumably be released to the AmEmb in the near future. We have taken action to have State return these checks to Washington forthwith pending a final decision as to their proper disposition.

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Guyana

1. Cash confiscated from Michael Carter by Guyanese authorities on 11/20/78

$U.S. Dollars
a. **Guyana currency
Notes: $137,604.00
Coins: 57.69
$137,661.69 (G) 52,947

b. U.S. currency
Notes: $634,501.00
366.47 334,867

c. Trinidad & Tobago currency
Notes: $2.00
18.92 8
20.98 ($G20.01)

2. Cash confiscated by Guyanese authorities from Port Kaituma residents between 12/1/78 and 12/3/78: **

a. **Guyana currency
Notes: $11,898 4576

b. U.S. currency
Notes: $US 296,500 296,500

* = Rounded off to nearest dollar.
** = As of December 4, 1978, the official exchange rate was approximately
US $1 = $G 2.6
G $1 = US 38.46 (cents)
*** = According to Asst. Police Commissioner Cecil A. Roberts, Port Kaituma residents may have succeeded in secreting additional sums, beyond those listed; however, it is unlikely, as a practical matter, that any such sums will ever be recovered.

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Tab A

Updated as of 3/6/79
Country: Guyana

Estimated PT Assets: $2,645,425 (Plus small amounts of jewelry, and real and personal property and undetermined amount.)

Actions Taken by USG: Repatriation of bodies of deceased PT members; repatriation of survivors; AmEmb retained local counsel for legal advice; 12/20/78 msg. to AmEmb re: protection of USG vis-à-vis PT assets in Guyana and request for inventory of same; 12/22/78 AmEmb letters to all Guyanese banks in which PT allegedly had deposits; obtained copies of articles of incorporation for three (3) Guyanese PT corporations; studying whether USG should join GOG in lawsuit filed by GOG in Supreme Court of Guyana on 12/9/79. Visit to Guyana 2/27-3/3, 1979. For details and results, see separate trip report.

Attitude of Foreign Government: Difficult to determine at this time. Polite, but generally noncommittal. It is entirely possible that the GOG claim will eat up all PT assets in Guyana, leaving nothing for USG or other claimmants. Clearly, however, the GOG plans to forfeit all of the US Currency seized by GOG authorities.

Local Counsell: An early date, AmEmb retained solicitor Gordon Gillette for legal advice.

Location Initiated: 9 February 1979 GOG (AG) and Guyana Airways Corp. filed suit against PT and several individuals in Supreme Court of Guyana. We have not yet decided whether to sue the PT in Guyana.

Recovery Prospects: Uncertain, at best. The situation is complex and fraught with political and legal difficulties. See separate trip report for details.

Originally posted on August 6th, 2020.

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