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Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
August 6, 2010
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Publication Date: 
February 9, 1985
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Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/08/06 :CIA-RDP90-005528000303150008-3 UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL 9 February 1985 CIA AGENT OR CON MAN? Keiser BY ANDREW BLUM MAMARONECK, NY Ernest Keiser has been described as an undercover intelligence agent, a professional con artist and a mystery man who eX15ts in a " bizaare world." Keiser, 65, helped the federal government lure renegade CIA agent Edwin Wilson from Libya in 1982, Besides trapping Wilson, Keiser claimed to be working on capturing fugitive financier Robert Vesco, and had offered help in finding Nazi criminal Josef Mengele, Keiser has been missing from his northern Virginia home since Jan. 31 and is believed to have jumped X5,000 bail, authorities say. " There`s no question in my mind he jumped bail, " said Westchester, N.Y., County Assistant Prosecutor Tony Berk, "Finding him is not imminent. " "I`m not sure that anyone outside of his immediate family knows who he is, " said former federal prosecutor Chris Hover, " He exists and functions in a bizarre world. ` ` Royer said there were too many strange stories from the man, who spoke with a German accent.. The mention of Keiser's name prompted one of his neighbors to say: " We don't dls~us5 Ernest Keiser, sorry." Berk, who called Keiser a "professional con artist, " had sought to have X5,000 bail forfeited after Keiser was convicted of land fraud in White Plains, N.Y. in the belief Keiser would vanish. Judge Gerard Delaney., who continued bail despite $erk's argument, noted Kei~er's "rather colorful background, " but said federal authorities would have taken Keiser to Florida anyway for another trial. " In all probability I was going to fine him rather than put him in jail, " added Delaney. "He's in his bOs and i didn't want to saddle taxpayers with his care," Keiser's attorney William Aronwald acknowledged Keiser's intelligence work, but called him a businessman. Keiser had been ordered to report to Aronwald every three days. He last spoke to the attorney Jan. 28, and a few days Later left his home in McLean, Va., a 4lashington suburb, with his wife, Bahira, and mother-in-law,. Margaret Demachkie. He has .not been heard from since. When Keiser failed to attend a pre-sentence meeting in White Plains and the Florida trial, warrants were issued. His wife also is being sought. Family dlothing, cars, dogs and bank. accounts were nowhere to be seen and officials speculated the family has fled the country. Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/08/06 :CIA-RDP90-005528000303150008-3 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/08/06 :CIA-RDP90-005528000303150008-3 2. Keiser approached the government about helping capture Wilson when the former CIA agent was charged with smuggling arms to Libya, He helped persuade Wilson to go to the Dominican Republic and then to New York to resume GIA work, he said. Fut when Wilson arrived in New Yark he was arrested, tried and sentenced to more than b0 years. Prosecutors speculated Keiser felt his federal work and contacts would enable him to beat the charges he himself faced. trot much was known about how Keiser got involved in the search for Vesco, who fled the country 13 years ago when he was sought for taking part in misappropriating ~ZZ4 million from Investors Overseas Service. Vesco also was charged with making illegal contributions to President Richard Nixon's 1972 election campaign. Keiser lived in Mamaroneck during the Wilson Gase and was convicted of swindling neighbor ,lohn Farris of X415,000 in the same Florida land deal he used to entice Wilson to return to the united States, where he was arrested. Keiser's conviction far grand larceny and issuing a false financial statement stemmed from a 1480 claim he owned 2,000 acres of land near Orlando, Fla. Keiser was going to develop it and sought Farris' investment. Prosecutors said Keiser only had an option on the Land, which is ~0 percent swamp. Keiser sustained a gunshot wound in December, and one claim was that Wilson or vesco may have shot him, delaying Keiser's trial. Keiser said his attacker stole a briefcase containing Vesco-related documents. Sgt. Dominic DeMarco of Westchester`s warrant squad, which is looking for Keiser, said Friday the fugitive's ~300,I30U Virginia house has been seized by the IRS for back taxes. Aronwald said if Keiser stood trial in Florida he planned to require ,justice officials to testify. keiser is charged there with telling Tampa Gank executive Donald Regar that for ~b0,000, he could use federal connections tv fix an indictment. Mrs. Keiser faces charges she lied for him at a bail hearing. Virginia police speculated Keiser may have shot himself, but Aronwald denied that and stood by Keiser's claims of government work. " Based on my information there`s no doubt he was working on getting Vesco back, " said Aronwald, who reported Keiser missing, ''There were also discussions on the passibility of his helping locate or capture Mengele. " To farmer neighbors in Mamaroneck, Keiser was a quiet mystery man. Frances Stern Galled the family friendly Gut "not very talkative. " " The mother-in-law spoke German and I spoke German, " said Stern, noting the family Left their rented home suddenly. " I never knew what he was doing. He was traveling and there were rumors of the CIA. " Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/08/06 :CIA-RDP90-005528000303150008-3