Declaration of Assistant U.S. Attorney
Robert L. Dondero


Criminal No.: CR 88-0616-DLJ




I, ROBERT L. DONDERO, hereby declare, under penalty of perjury, the following to be true:

1. I am an Assistant United States Attorney and have been assigned the prosecution of the above-captioned case.

2. Attached is a summary of the fraudulent transactions or claims made by the defendant during the history of this case. See Attachment 1. The list is in alphabetical order with the court listed being the federal court where the fraudulent claim was presented. The claim date is the actual date in which the false claim was submitted to the district court. For example, the first claim presented is that of AIA Industries. The court was in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The date of the claim is April ll, 1988.

3. Using this document, we see that the first known claim was on September 6, 1983. It involved ITEL and was located in the Northern District of California, before Judge Aguilar. In 1984, there were at least four separate false claims submitted. They were: the First Chicago claim on March 14, 1989; Techamerica on May 24, 1984; Wickes Co. on December 7, 1984; and Texas Instrument on December 17, 1984. These were all false claims submitted by the defendant.

4. In 1985, the defendant was involved in nine additional false claims. The claims were filed in district courts throughout the nation.

5 . According to the affidavit of Michael Hambrick, filed in the motion to quash subpoenas in this case, the defendant joined the Church of Scientology on or about February 8, 1986. See Attachment 2. Mr. Hambrick is the Executive Director of the Church of Scientology in Fort Lauderdale. The defendant obtained a free membership for initial service on that date. I am not aware of any record establishing affiliation with the Church by the defendant before that date.

6 . The defendant has already acknowledged he joined the Church in February 1986. See Attachment 3. In a letter to his 'Uncle Danny,' dated April 21, 1986, the defendant represented he joined Scientology on February 8, 1986. The letter indicates this was something he freely did, Also, I am familiar with the signature of the defendant since I have reviewed numerous documents he signed. This signature, on Attachment 3, is that of the defendant.

7. During the history of this investigation, I am aware the FBI has interviewed Steve Goldberg, Dusty Hipps, Shann Johnson, and Rita Hipps, the mother of Dusty Hipps. These people were all involved in the scheme. They were solicited to join by the defendant. They were given proceeds from the fraud by the defendant. However, they were never members of the Church of Scientology. In fact, I am aware of no members of the Church of Scientology who were involved in any way with conduct related to this fraudulent scheme. Furthermore, none of these people have indicated that the defendant represented to them he was doing any of these acts for a force or group other than himself.

8. Subsequent to his arrest, the defendant sought to attribute his illegal conduct to the Church. He provided a proffer that the Church was directly responsible. Shortly thereafter, he alleged that the Church was attempting to have him commit suicide because of what he knew. Documents allegedly were sent him from the Church. Also, he claimed the Church was mailing him poisons. Finally, his attorney received a telephone threat from the church. This caused the FBI to investigate the allegations.

9. The FBI investigation led to the interviews of Ms. Hipps and Mr. Johnson. They separately related to Special Agent Bill Kemp of the FBI that the defendant solicited them to engage in the suspicious mailings and threats described in paragraph 6. They identified their voices on taped messages claimed to come from Scientology. They also identified the materials they mailed to the defendant that were attributed to being sent by the Church.

10. As a result of this behavior, the defendant has been arrested for obstruction of justice (18 U.S.C. S 1512(b)(1)), and making a threatening phone communication (18 U.S.C. S 875(c) and 2). See Attachment 4. He has also been indicted in the Southern District of Florida for this offense. Defendant's attorney, Mark S. Nurik of the law firm of Nurik & Kyle, Miami, Florida, also received the attached letter which he believed came from the Church. In fact, the defendant had it sent. The reference in paragraph 2 to Nurik's present wife meeting his wife was viewed as a threat by Nurik. See Attachment 5.

11. In the course of this investigation, it was learned, through the subpoena of financial records, that the defendant purchased several items with the proceeds of these fraudulent claims. He purchased at least two cars, one a Cadillac Allente and one another Cadillac. Also, he maintained a mortgage on a condominium in Miami and a piece of property in North Carolina. Furthermore, the FBI seized approximately $300,000 in various Florida bank accounts of tho defendant. These funds were seized at the time the defendant was arrested. These accounts were under the control of the defendant. They were not under the control of the Church of Scientology, nor any member of the Church.

12. The defendant, during at least a portion of the period of this case, was a 'notary public.' He received considerable publicity for his quick marriages and operated the business as a sole proprietorship. See Attachment 6. He would go anywhere to marry a couple, from the front of a Slurpee machine to a 47-room Palm Beach mansion. This does not seem consistent with the conduct of an automaton. Also, the defendant was arrested on July 31, 1988, as he was arriving from Madrid, Spain. He had been on a European vacation. On certain occasions he travelled with Dusty Hipps, then under the age of eighteen, to the City of Las Vegas, Nevada. He also went on an ocean cruise with Ms. Hipps, as well as on a separate voyage with a blonde prostitute. On at least one occasion, the defendant indicated interest in placing an ad in the “Busan” (sic Pusan) Daily News of Pusan South Korea as he was to be travelling in South Korea on business. See Attachment 7 and Attachment 8, generally.

13. The defendant has been residing the past several years in the City of Miami, Florida. Miami itself has a population of 373,940 (Bureau of the Census, July 1986). The metropolitan area of Miami-Fort Lauderdale has a population of 2,912,000 (1986) and has increased in population by 10.1% from 1980-1986. It is the eleventh largest metropolitan area in the United States.

DATED: October 5, 1989



Assistant United States Attorney