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December 22, 2016
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July 26, 2010
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Approved For Release 2010/07/26: CIA-RDP90-00494RO01100710141-2 T1 UMW.ANrt, `Playmate': Rewald aided h divorce By Walter Wright Adc.,tr.., stiff w.rr.. When Cynthia Michelle' Brooks appeared as Playboy, Magazine's centerfold in April, the important numbers were 34-23-34. But when the former Hono- lulu model testified in federal court here yesterday, thee' ques- tions were about other numbers - big, numbers with dollar signs in front of them. Brooks, 33, took the stand be- fore a standing-room-only audi- ence in the trial of Ronald Re- wald on 98 counts of fraud, tax : evasion and perjury. U.S. Dig- Judge Harold Fong, noting the crowd, told her that her -testimony "outdrew Jack Lord," another celebrity wit- ness in the case. Brooks testified she invested $18,000 in Rewald's firm and A hat Rewald once gave her :$3,000 to help her through her divorce. Brooks said Rewald told her "he had more money than he could ever spend in a lifetime." She said she met Rewald at :his Hawaii Polo Club, where she went to get a chance to ride horses by exercising them for polo team members. "I was holding a horse he was getting on, and we just met," she said. Brooks said Rewald offered to give her money "all the time" after they met. But she said the $3,000 gift and Re- wald's offer to pay the legal fees for her divorce were the Cynthia Brooks Standing-room-only audience only times she accepted. And she said she later learned that the $530 in legal fees was de- ducted from her account at Re- wald's firm, Bishop Baldwin Rewald Dillingham & Wong. Asked why Rewald pressed money on her, Brooks said, "In' my opinipn, Mr. Rewald always seemed 'like he had great wealth, and was always con- cerned about my welfare." He often said things like, "Let me just write you a check" or "Do Theresa Black "Devastated" by lost money you need anything?" she said. Did she accept the money? "No, no, no - because it scared me," Brooks said. But then in August 1982, she said, "I came to him at that time" and told Rewald about her desire to move out of her husband's house and into an apartment of her own, and he, wrote the $3,000 check. Company records show Brooks also received checks for $2,000 and $5,000 from Re- Approved For Release 2010/07/26: CIA-RDP90-00494RO01100710141-2 Approved For Release 2010/07/26: CIA-RDP90-00494RO01100710141-2 wald's firm and that the amounts were not deducted from her account. She testified she didn't remember receiving or cashing the $2,000 check, although she, acknowledged that the signa- ture endorsing the check look- ed like hers. She was not asked about the $5,000 check. Brooks' account was debited for other withdrawals she made, but showed an $18,000 balance - including Rewald's promised 20-percent-plus inter- est - when the company col- lapsed in August 1983. The trustee in the company's bankruptcy is insisting that Brooks repay $3,000 she with- drew in May 1983 because all payments within 90 days. before a bankruptcy must be returned to be shared equally with all creditors. Brooks is fighting the trustee, and a bankruptcy judge took the dispute under submission Tuesday. If she returns the $3,000, she will have a' net loss of $2,456 in her dealings with Rewald and the firm, company records indi- cate. After their meeting at the Polo Club, Brooks testified, she got to know Rewald better, seeing him occasionally at the club. Rewald told her of his invest- ment program, with guaranteed 20 percent interest, tax defer- red income and insured ac- counts, she said. She was skeptical, and even declined when Rewald once offered to open an account for her with his own funds. Then, in February 1982, she and her husband gave Rewald a check for $6.000 to open an account. Her father urged her instead to open an IRA account, she said, but Rewald discouraged her from withdrawing her money for that purpose, saying she was getting a much bigger return at Bishop Baldwin. She said she thought Rewald was "very keen. He seemed to have the right answer for any question. Every turn I made, he was standing there with a rea- son why' I should keep my money there ... He was really convincing." In other testimony yesterday, former insurance saleswoman Jane Iinuma said Rewald paid her more than $100,000 from December 1980 to July 1983 to be his traveling companion and mistress. linuma said Rewald at first paid her $1,000 a month, but increased the payments to $2,000 a month within a few weeks. She said he also paid many of her expenses, includ- ing doctor bills, school tuition and car payments, and gave her $20,000 for a European trip in the spring of 1983. Iinuma said she had put $65,- 500 of her own money into Re- wald's firm, and then was promised a 50 percent commis- sion on about $120,000 of other people's mean, ;jWe;.dbt ned fW iatn iflq+~ttn nt" w R"yald. The bankruptcy trust" .:has taken action to xo e money- . Eew.~d..gaye, a and other wo who .aye provided no not, al+Cb1": he company. !`^'?J 1.iwC:; .OW. dam: + linuma. said tbat,aa?a-T lit she owese trustee $55,000 and will lose her home. Another investor in Bishop Baldwin, widow Theresa Black, testified yesterday she 'gave Rewald more than $80,000 in insurance proceeds she receiv- ed when her husband and two of her sons were killed in the crash of their skydiving plane in 1981. The loss of the money, she said, "devastated" her and forc- ed her to leave Hawaii and move in with relatives in Texas because she can no longer af- ford to live here. Attorney Dana Smith, who incorporated Bishop Baldwin and several sporting goods firms for Rewald, said yester- day he knew nothing of finan- cial statements claiming the sporting goods operations were worth up to $2 million. Smith said someone had at- tached letters from him to the financial statements, and had changed the date on one of the letters. Smith said the sporting goods companies never made money and seemed to survive only be- cause Rewald kept loaning them money drawn from Bish- op Baldwin's checking account. Approved For Release 2010/07/26: CIA-RDP90-00494RO01100710141-2