[Editor’s notes: This report was transcribed by Heather Shannon. The editors are grateful for her invaluable assistance.
[This document retains its original spellings throughout, with corrections made only when the meaning may otherwise be unclear. In addition, where known, we have added first or last names in brackets to those identified by a single name. It should be noted that a number of names have not been annotated. The name is either unknown, there may be more than one person with that name or – most often the case – the name is in code.]
Law Office Report #23
March 22, 1978
from June [Crym]
[Handwriting at top: “To Carolyn Layton”]
1. Pets Unlimited – Discussed the unpaid Note with [Marshall] Bentzman, who recognizes the income we would have received from the payment by Pets on the Note as unrelated business income. Attached is a xerox copy of the Note. Pets promised to pay P.T. [Handwriting: line pointing to P.T. “To Carolyn Layton” “Wrong.”] The only thing that has been paid is the interest last year, and nothing has come in since the extension granted last year, signed by [Mike] Prokes. It was a 6 month extension, up in 1977. To avoid bad p.r. by foreclosing on nonpayment of the Note, we would prefer to sell at a discount – and have [Jim] McElvane handle it. Bentzman suggested foreclosure, but the directions we received from you are interpreted here to mean sell the Note. Bentzman says that to sell the Note at a discount (a lower price than the original amount owed on the Note) will not bring us a profit, and therefore any income we receive on it would be a loss and not taxable as unrelated business income. It would be unrelated business income all right, [Handwritten marginal note: “Wrong. Sell note for what [several words illegible]”] but it would be not a profit and so would be one of the losses we could offset against the profits from other unrelated busines[s] incomes we might have, in balancing out the total taxable unrelated business income. Jean Brown discussed the Pets Note with McElvane today on the phone; he is going to add the Note to the package deal offered to Sam Kalman, which is explained in more detail in item #7 in this report.
2. Canoe Purchase – originally reported in Law Office Report #13, item 10. You asked that we ask Eric about it. He asked me to write a letter for his signature demanding receipt of the canoes and threatening litigation. Attached is copy of letter, which is being taken to him tomorrow by Hue [Fortson]; if there are changes I will send them over later.
3. Corporations – attached are copies of Statement by Domestic Corporation, which are sent us annually to be filled out and signed by an officer of the corporation. Received so far on P.T., Apostolic, and Action Equality, Inc. Should we fill Apostolic and Action out? [Handwriting: “No”] Are there any changes in officers on the P.T. one before I send it back signed by Carol Stahl, president. [Handwriting: “No.”] If we don’t mail back Apostolic and Action, will that be further indication of lapse; [Handwriting: “Yes.”] or should we send back blank with a note that corporations not active. [Handwriting: “No”]
4. Agreement on sale of bus – attached is copy of agreement drawn up by Irvin [Perkins] and Rivers Bus Sales, for sale of one bus in Florida, which was left behind after they delivered the people to go over. Is this agreement ok for future similar deals. [Handwriting: “OK. Gene [Chaikin]”]
5. Attached is envelope with Carolyn Thomas, Barbara Hoyer and Rosie Burgines W-2’s and 1976 tax returns for those we’ve found; to be integrated with the rest that you’ve already received. I don’t know if you will have reached the W-2’s already sent yet; they went out with John, who was delayed in New York.
Law Office Report #23
March 22, 1978
6. Arletha Arnold: [Handwriting: “-will send report March 27, 1978. J”]
7. Meeting with Sam Kalman, Kalman & Co, re his wish to buy up our properties – attached is a report on that meeting, with me and McElvane there.
8. Meeting with Bentzman re corporations, unrelated business income – Martha is writing up a detailed report on this, incorporating her write up, mine and Tim Clancy’s.
9. Taxes – California residents may deduct contributions to SDI funds – this article should be passed on to Ed and Evelyn’s mother for information
10. Attached are copies of the original leases Swinney, Swaney and Janaro, properties which Ed sees as unrelated business income. Bentzman agrees with him, because of the rental aspect.
11. Rita Thomas – Carolyn Thomas’s sister. On court probation til June 1979. Misdemeanor charge, reduced from grand theft, happened last year, April. Divorced, husband has paid no child support and has not visited the child since divorce in 1975. She has no previous arrest record. Husband has now come to SF and is trying to get to her, harasses her in the street; he does not know that she lives at 998 Divisadero; she has nonmember companion. Came to me to ask if she could get probation awarded to Guyana, or if should move out of the state to get away from the husband and go over later. I told her she should check with her p.ol [likely, “probation officer”] [Handwriting: line pointing to unreadable handwriting] before she goes anywhere out of state as it might jeopardize her probation. Is there any chance we could get her awarded to Guyana? I ask only because she is Carolyn’s sister; Carolyn is going over this week because of relative harassment. Maybe you could check with Carolyn when she arrives.
Law Office Report #23
March 22, 1978
12. Melvin Lowery – previously reported on Law Office Report #13, item 1.c. His behavior has become rather peculiar in the pst [past] few weeks, and Leona [Collier] is highly suspicious of him, also Alice [Inghram]. Last week he disappeared and left all the gas on in the apartment; discovered by CJ [Charles Johnson] and thankfully no one was hurt. Counseled about it but still acting strange afterwards. Leona noted that he has set a pattern of bringing a briefcase with him everywhere he goes, and no one stops and inquires what is in the briefcase. Hue said that before Oliver [Morgan] and Lydia Morgan went over, Lydia came to him with a bunch of clippings Melvin had collected and given to her. They were all articles about P.T., the media slams specifically. We had considered approaching his probation officer and showing him slides because he comes up for annual review in June, but now we are considering sending him back to Los Angeles to live. Any suggestions?
13. Peoples Forum, Inc. – see attached Bank and Corporation Estimated Tax Form 100-ES received from Franchise Tax Board – do we file this with FTB [Franchise Tax Board]. Also see attached notice Franchise Tax Board sent us in December – you have said let this corporation lapse – how do we let the Franchise Tax Board know this corporation is lapsing without avoiding what they threaten in this notice. Is there some kind of letter to be sent – do we file something and say no activity – some directions on this would be helpful. [Handwriting: “Ignore it. They [illegible word] leave the corp.”]
14. The insurance claim has been settled on the 1752 McKinnon Street, SF property of James [Edwards] and Irene Edwards from last year’s fire for $16,000. The insurance company will be issuing a check this week to the Edwards and to the mortgage holders, a joint check, and it will be handled through the realty company that holds the mortgage note. The mortgage will be paid off and the Edwards will get the balance, which will be $6000+ according to Betty’s figures. There has been a man calling every so often for the past 2 months wanting to buy the place as is. We will have to determine whether to sell as is or demolish the existing structure, clear of debris, and sell the lot; the decision I suppose will be dependent on his offer and the estimated cost of demolishing and clearing the lot.
15. Irma Lee Gill – we referred her legal separation case out to attorney George Holland, of Wilridge & Holland, who has helped with cases in the past. He discovered that her husband divorced her in Arkansas in March 1977, before we even filed the papers for legal separation in the California courts. He (the husband) got a court order, and Holland gave her a copy of it, which grants her no property rights. Since we had originally filed for legal separation asking for property rights so she could get a court order for support and comply with Railroad Retirement’s requirements before she could get
Law Office Report #23
March 22, 1978
(Irma Lee Gill continued)
her share of husban’ds railroad pension, now we know she has no pr[o]perty rights and Holland thinks it’s unlikely that she will be able to get the retirement pension. [Handwriting: “Wrong!”] However, he is calling an Arkansas attorney he knows to check Arkansas law; and he is calling the Railroad Retir[e]ment Board to see what her rights are. The only reason we had been holding her back for up til now was for the retirement; so if it pans out that she can’t get anything, I think we should send her on over as soon as possible. [Handwriting: “Take copy of divorce to Retirement Board will allow her to get a monthly retirement check. [illegible sentence]”]
16. Ben Bowers’ taxes – I called him today, and he explained in detail why he wants in receipts: in 1977 he was married to Kris Tally [Christine Talley], but got divorced. Before the divorce, he had claimed 3 deductions; but after it, he could only claim 1. That put him in a higher tax bracket, with his $16,000 per year salary. He finds now that he will owe $1400 to IRS unless he can itemize deductions, and he wants us to give him (1) 10% donation letter [Handwriting; “OK”] (2) [Handwriting: “NO”] receipts of rent and food, room and board, for January through April 1977 that he would have theoretically paid us when he was living in Redwood Valley. He will be itemizing moving expenses when he moved from the Valley to SF in May 1977. He figures he can make the required amount of itemizations to avoid paying the $1400 if we can produce receipts for that time period, plus other itemizations he will make. He also asks about 2 trust funds: one with Barclay’s bank, and one called C&D. I looked up his old 1975 return which is all we have, and they were listed there. These are the old trusts that were set up by TOS [Tim Stoen]. I told him I didn’t believe they were in existence any more; that I would check further. The 2 trust funds would draw interest and those would be the itemizations, the interest accumulated during 1977. Am going to review his whole case with Bonnie Beck, who is coming down 3/23 night to talk about taxes and other things.
17. Exie Eleby’s house in Los Angeles – see Law Office Report #10, item 1. The attorney who wrote in January on behalf of her son (who used to have one-half interest in the property until he signed his half interest over to Exie) has written again, this time saying that he has compared the signatures on the recorded deed to her son’s signature and says it’s an obvious forgery. We have had Hue take this case into Eric. Any background information you can find out from Kay Nelson, who notarized Exie’s son’s quit claim deed when he signed his interest over to Exie and which is the deed in question, would be very helpful at this point. The attorney is threatening litigation. [Handwriting: “We did not do that.”]
B-4-a(27): Note Secured by Deed of Trust [Handwriting: “Item 1”]
B-4-a(28): Letter from attorney Charles Garry to Ernie Doiron regarding purchase of canoes
B-4-a-(29): Statement by Domestic Corporation, Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ
B-4-a(30): Statement by Domestic Corporation, San Francisco Action Equality, Inc.
B-4-a(31): Statement by Domestic Corporation, Apostolic Corporation
B-4-a(32): Instructions for Completed Statement by Domestic Corporation
B-4-a(33): Agreement between Rivers Bus Sales, Inc. and Peoples Temple Bus Garage
B-4-a(34): Master insurance policy for Rivers Bus Sales Company, Inc.
B-4-a(35): [Handwriting: “Item 5” “W-2’s + tax forms”]
B-4-a(36): Income tax return for Carolyn Thomas
B-4-a(37): Tax return for Carolyn Thomas
B-4-a(38): Letter from Charles Garry’s office regarding Carolyn Thomas’s tax returns
B-4-a(39): Envelope for letter from Charles Garry’s office [Handwriting: “Send overseas” “W-2’s”]
B-4-a(40): Wage and tax statement for Carolyn Thomas from SF Newspaper Printing
B-4-a(41): Second copy of statement in B-4-a(40)
B-4-a(42) Third copy of statement in B-4-a(40)
B-4-a(43): Statement of interest income for Peoples Temple
B-4-a(44): Wage and tax statement for Rosie Lee Burgines
B-4-a(45): Wage and tax statement for Barbara Hoyer [Handwriting: “Had to copy by hand too light to print”]
B-4-a(46): Income tax return for Timothy [Carter] and Barbara [Hoyer] Carter
B-4-a(47): Copy of document on B-4-a(46)
B-4-a(48): Second page of income tax return for Timothy [Carter] and Barbara [Hoyer] Carter
B-4-a(48) [Duplicate page number]
Meeting of 3-20-78
Jim McElvane, June Crym
Meeting with Sam Kalman, of Kalman & Co., Services for Industry: [Handwriting: “Item 7”]
1. He mentioned in passing after the discussion re priorities that he had lunched the other day with [San Francisco District Attorney Joseph] Freitas, discussed putting you to work in the streets under the CETA program. I mention this only because he and Freitas were together.
2. He met [Bernard] Titlebaum when [George] Moscone had his campaign headquarters in Kalman’s office building. McElvane and I got the impression that he was not that tight with Titlebaum now, not in a derogatory sense, but that the real connection was back when Moscone had his campaign headquarters there, and that was some years back.
3. He is in the business of buying old properties, refurbishing them and selling for a profit. Has properties throughout the state, showed us a list – 2 of them in SF, the rest in central California, including several in Sacramento. The list was several pages long.
4. What he wants from us before he makes an offer:
a. Copies of property tax bills on each parcel so he can see the tax assessor’s valuation of each piece, which is always lower than the fair market value; and so that he can verify ownership.
b. Address of each property so that he can have [Handwriting inserted: “at his expense”] a preliminary title search done on each one by title company, to get proper background of each place. Also will have people of his company go there and check of each place. Also will have people of his company go there and check out the location, accessibility to profitable enterprises, etc. To make a reasonable estimate on price he would offer.
c. Proposes a way of handling sale, to keep from increasing his property taxes. He wants to buy in such a way as not to show the full sale price he pays us, and claim a portion of it as a donation to the church rather than part of the sale. For example, if we were selling a property for $400,000, and he paid $300,000 which would be the amount that would be on paper as the sale – then he would hand over the $100,000 balance as a donation to the church, not connected with the sale. The donation he could claim as tax deductible going to an exempt corporation. He has done this before on individual pieces, but is not sure it is possible on a package deal. He would have to check with his attorney first.
d. He wanted to know if the trust deeds on whch [which] we are collecting mortgage payments for properties already sold in Mendocino County have “prepayment penalties” – this means that if the Note were originally signed for say five years, and the Note were paid up before those five years, to avoid loss of the income from the interest which would accumulated during the lifespan of the five year note, a prepayment penalty would have been written into the terms of the note so that if it were paid up before, the person paying it up in full would have to pay a penalty – [Handwriting: “McElvane says 2 of the Notes are like that.”]
5. He is a self made man [Handwriting: quote marks around “self made man”], son of a Russian immigrant, devoted to buying and selling. Looks forward to challenge of making money every day. Conservative to a point – indulges himself but doesnt like welfare being given to young “bucks” – okay for old people and sick people, but doesn’t want State supporting people who can work. Thinks in terms of giving jobs to people like the WPA, but those jobs are “cleaning the streets, digging ditches…”
6. Wants to know if we have a “low key intelligent woman, divorcee, independent, secure in her mind” to travel across the states and handle his management of property interests here and there, not be push about it but be under his direction…check on things for him…$1000 a month plus expenses, and whatever he wants to do with her, I suppose…He just bought 2 buildings in Kansas City, old office buildings that he’s completely refurbishing modernly, and he wants her to go there and check it out for him.
7. He’s not pushy with us, he is nosy but he believes that things fall into order at their own pace, obviously has the money and doesn’t really care too much if we say yes or no, except that he enjoys the challenge of the deal.
He’s a hardline capitalist, old time old world type, pulled himself up by his own bootstraps, only motivation is money, would go for or against us, depending on who has the most money, I would assume. [Handwriting: “JC”]
[Image of business card for Sam Kalman & Co.]
B-4-a(50): List of properties owned by Peoples Temple. [Handwriting at top: “OURS”; handwriting in left margin marking properties in Los Angeles: “None of these are recorded in P.T. name yet”; at bottom: “This list was given to Kalman, minus the addresses. add – “Pets” note, do not [illegible] sell, foreclosure and [illegible]”
B-4-a(51): Front page of The Recorder (California) dated March 13, 1978, with lead article on “Deductions Allowed for State Disability Pay”
B-4-a(52): Promissory note in re irrigation system and amendment to revised lease [Handwriting: “Item 10”]
B-4-a(53): Note and declaration of intent to pay $12,000 for irrigation and frost fixtures at Happy Acre Ranch; signed by Richard and Claire Janaro; dated May 10, 1973
B-4-a(54): Revised lease and delegation full of responsibility to operate business between Peoples Temple, and Claire and Richard Janaro
B-4-a(55): Second page of agreement on B-4-a(54)
B-4-a(56): Third page of agreement on B-4-a(54)
B-4-a(57): Lease and delegation of full responsibility to operate business between Peoples Temple, and Nathaniel and Maxine Swaney.
B-4-a(58): Second page of lease on B-4-a(57)
B-4-a(59): Lease and delegation of full responsibility to operate business between Peoples Temple, and Cleve and Hellen Swinney.
B-4-a(60-61): Duplicate of B-4-a(57-58)
B-4-a(62): California Bank and Corporation Estimated Tax [Handwriting: “Item 13”]
B-4-a(63): page 2, instructions for completing document
B-4-a(64): page 3, worksheet
B-4-a(65): page 4, worksheet
B-4-a-(66): Notice to Eugene Chaikin from CA Franchise Tax Board to file taxes
B-4-a(67-78): Duplicate of B-4-a(23-34)
B-4-a(79-90): Duplicate of B-4-a(48-59)
B-4-a(91-92): Duplicate of B-4-a(57-58)
B-4-a(93): Duplicate of B-4-a(62)
B-4-a(93) [Duplicate page number]: Duplicate of B-4-a(63)
B-4-a(94-96): Duplicate of B-4-a(64-66)