Serial 1637

December 27, 1978

Assistant Attorney General
Civil Division

Donald W. Moore, Jr.
Assistant Director
Criminal Investigative Division

INVESTIGATION CONCERNING LOCATION OF ASSETS OF THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE (PT)

The following information is set forth in response to the request from the Civil Division, Office of Foreign Litigation, indicating that a representative of the Department of Justice will travel to Panama City, Panama, for the period December 26-29, 1978, to protect the interests of the United States Government regarding the assets of the PT.

On December 17, 1978, five letters were introduced as evidence by the Government of Guyana at a Coroner’s Inquest into the Jonestown murder/suicides. The first document introduced was a cover letter to an officer of the Soviet Embassy in Georgetown explaining the bequest; the next three letters were addressed to officers of the branches of two Swiss banks in Panama directing the disposition of assets; the last document is what purports to be the holographic will of PT member Maria Katsaris signing for an account in Venezuela which she apparently had wished to deliver to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The first four letters are signed by one Annie J. McGowan, a PT member who perished at Jonestown. McGowan was apparently signing for the accounts of the PT in Panama. Maria Katsaris has also been identified as being among the dead.

Copies of the above letters are attached hereto.

On December 6, 1978, a review of records in the possession of the American Embassy at Georgetown, Guyana, revealed the following bank accounts. These are the accounts found to date and do not necessarily represent all accounts of the PT: (1) Bank of Nova Scotia, Nassau, Bahamas, number, name Jim W. Jones, balance $206,395.07 (US); (2) Guyana National Cooperative Bank, Georgetown, Guyana, External Savings Account – PT number COR29489/10, balance $13,256.65 (Guyana); (3) Guyana National Cooperative Bank, Georgetown, Guyana, Fixed Time Deposit Savings Account number

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Assistant Attorney General
Civil Division

CO-90-319, balance $13,222.61 (Guyana); (4) Guyana National Cooperative Bank, Georgetown, Guyana, Savings Account number 28549, balance $12,935.93 (Guyana); (5) Barclay’s Bank, Georgetown, Guyana, External Savings Account number 9857/2, balance $1,806,051.03 (Guyana); (6) Barclay’s Bank, Georgetown, Guyana Checking Account (no account number) – PT, balance $30,890 (Guyana); (7) Banco Union, Caracas, Venezuela, account number 01-58115-5 in name Maria Katsaris, balance $85,745 (Guyana) (This account is believed to be a Checking account); and (8) Bank of America, Fillmore Post Office Branch, San Francisco, California, account number 2-1465 in the name James Warren Jones, balance $7334.96 (US). (By letter dated May 26, 1978, Bank of America made inquiry of Jones as to reason that the account was dormant.)

The rate of exchange on December 6, 1978, was $1 United States equals $2.54 Guyana.

[Paragraph withheld under B3 exemption to FOIA]

On December 8, 1978, investigation conducted at Georgetown, Guyana, revealed that Paula Adams had attempted to cash a $20,000 check on the PT account in Guyana, but the bank refused to honor this check. The Guyanese Government has apparently frozen all bank accounts of the PT in that country.

Our Legal Attaché, Caracas, Robert J. Oglesby stated that additional bank accounts on [of] the PT have been discovered. Records show that the Temple at three bank accounts at the Bank of Montréal, 333 California Street, San Francisco. Total amount in these accounts amounted to approximately $21,000. In addition, records were found showing a $76,000 bank account at the Grenada National Bank, One Bruce Street, Grenada, West Indies.

On December 4, 1978, a Petition for Court Decree Upon Winding Up and Dissolution of the Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ was filed in the Superior Court of the State of California and for the city and County of San Francisco. The petition was filed by Charles R. Garry, et al, Attorneys for Petitioner. A copy of the above mentioned petition is attached.

The FBI has no further information at this time regarding assets of the PT.

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Assistant Attorney General
Civil Division

Note: Attached is a memorandum to Inspector-Deputy Assistant Director James O. Ingram from James G. Hergen, Office of Foreign Litigation, Civil Division requesting the results of investigation into the assets of the PT by cob [close of business] 12/22/78.

[Page 4]

[FOIA/PA Deleted Page Information Sheet indicates five pages withheld from disclosure under B3 exemption to FOIA]

[Page 5]

[Most of page withheld from disclosure under B3 exemption to FOIA]

AUSA Dondero advises the US Embassy in Georgetown has on its premises 3500 pounds of paper documents taken from

[Page 6]

[Most of page withheld from disclosure under B3 exemption to FOIA]

PAGE SEVEN SF 89-250 UNCLAS EFTO

Jonestown which San Francisco speculates would contain the identities of additional bank accounts.

In addition, San Francisco has submitted an LHM to FBIHQ dated December 7, 1978, enclosing a subpoena [4 lines deleted]

As reported in San Francisco teletype on December 7, 1978, Jim Jones and Carolyn Jones [Carolyn Layton] are believed to have a personal account in Curaçao, and Jim and Marceline Jones had a personal account in either Trinidad or Bahamas. More specific information is not available.

[Several words deleted] BQMRA that a bank account [account number deleted] was established at the Bank of Barclays of Trinidad and Tobago, Limited in Trinidad for [words deleted] purchasing supplies. It contained $60,000.00.

[3 lines deleted]

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PAGE EIGHT SF 89-250 UNCLAS EFTO

[All four lines on this page deleted]

[Pages 8-11 consist of Petition for Court Decree Upon Winding Up and Dissolution, located here]

[Page 12]

FD-302

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Date of transcription 12/14/78

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Cecil A. Roberts, Guyana National Police (GNP), furnished the attached copies of letters which were recovered by the GNP while investigating the murders at Jonestown, Guyana.

These letters were found in the possession of Michael Prokes when he was stopped by Guyana authorities in the vicinity of Jonestown.

[Pages 13-16 consist of letters dated November 18, 1978 and signed by Annie McGowan, which may be found here.]

[Page 17]

FD-302

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Date of transcription 12/15/78

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Cecil A. Roberts, Guyana National Police (GNP), furnished the attached copy of a letter signed by Maria Katsaris. The letter was located by the GNP near her body at Jonestown.

[Page 18 consists of the Katsaris letter, which may also be found here.]

Originally posted on May 13th, 2018.

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