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Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
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Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
July 23, 2010
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Publication Date: 
February 3, 1985
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Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/07/23: CIA-RDP90-00552R000303150010-0 ARTICLE APPEARED ON PACE / .7 -11 FUGITIVES' TRACER VANISHES HIMSELF Man Who Sought to Capture 1 Vesco Fails to Appear for Meeting in Fraud Case By JEFF GERTH special to no Nw Yet 11m. WASHINGTON, Feb. 2 - Ernest R. Keiser, a man the Federal Government has relied on to bring back some of Its most notorious fugitives, is now a fugi- tive himself. His disappearance has left behind a series of puzzling ques- tions about his secretive life and his relationship with the Government. It was Mr. Keiser, now 64 years old, who in 1982 lured back to the United States the former intelligence agent Edwin P. Wilson, then a fugitive in Libya, to which he had illegally sup. piled arms. Subsequently, according to Mr. Keiser, his attorney and Federal officials, he got involved in assisting the Justice Department in attempting to trap the financier Robert L. Veseo and other prominent fugitives. On Thursday, Mr. Keiser's attorney, William Amnwaid, told Federal prose. cutors in Tampa, Fla., that Mr. Keiser had disappeared. Mr. Keiser, Mr. Aronwald said, had not shown up at a scheduled meeting in New York with probation officials in connection with his conviction last month in White Plains, N.Y., for larceny. A Justice De- partment spokesman, John Russell, said subsequently that the department would have no comment on Mr. Keiser or his case. Warrants for Keiser and Wife Mr. Keiser was scheduled to go on trial next week in Tampa on Federal charges of fraud. Judy Hoyer, an Assistant United States Attorney in Tampa, said arrest warrants were issued Thursday for Mr. Keiser and his wife, Bahira. Mrs. Keiser was sched- uled to go on trial next weds in Tampa on separate charges that she lied about the Keiser finances in connection with a hail hearing for Mr. Keiser. The questions about Mr. Keiser touch on his relationships with various Gov- ernment agencies and secret Govern- ment missions, his involvement in criminal activity, his true identity and even on place of birth. NEW YORK TIMES 3 February 1985 In an interview last year, and in a partial biography he gave to associ- ates, Mr. Keiser portrays himself as a secret Government "operative," in- volved in snaring Nazis hiding out in South America, illegally entering Com- ma nist countries to free dissidents, In. -kkrating high-level drug rings in the Middle East and South America and aseisti;ig the Central Intelligence Agency in the 1950's by secretly supply. ing guns in the Algerian war of inde- pendence. yeses Reported in Csia In the interview, Mr. Keiser de- scribed in detail his efforts, through a h1exican associate, to trap Mr. Vesoo, who, according to Federal law. enforce ment officials, is living in Cuba and is' trying there to help the country obtain American technology. Mr. Vesco is wanted in connection with a $224 mil- lion fraud case. But court records, law-enforcement documents and Justice Department at. ficials say the C.I.A. is prepared to tes- ti fy that Mr. Keiser never had any rela- tionship with the agency, that some of the exploits in the biography never oc- t, ink has because he was in jail, and that frequently been in.. volved ud nd t in illegal activities. But they ac- knowledge that he had been involved in some way in attempting to apprehend Mr. Vesco. A key issue in the Tampa case, where Mr. Keiser is charged with an indicted banker of $00,000 prom- ising to help fix his case, is Mr. Kais- er's role in seeking to apprehend Mr. Vesco. An affadavit by an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation says Mr. Keiser told the banker he could take care of his case. Mr. Keiser's file in the Florida State Attorney's office for Broward County calls him an "internationally known swindler, who possibly may be living under an assumed name, and a false passport." In 1973, Mr. Keiser pleaded no contest to state larceny charges in Broward County. The files of Interpol, the Vienna-based wold clearinghouse for police information, say Mr. Keiser has been arrested numerous times in! several countries and served time in an Austrian prison after World War II. Problem With Flsigsrprhr4s Law-enforcement officials have often questioned Mr. Kaisers true identity, according to the Broward C amty filed, the Interpol files and testi- mony in Federal District Cam in Tramps. Mr. Keiser has said be was born in New York in 1918, in a hospital that lost its birth reobtds. Tracing Mr. Keiser's past is complicated by the fact that his bcannot be ccoro- riled ing to Florida recotds and Justice partment officials. Last year Chris Hoyer, then a Fed- eral prosecutor, told a Federal magic. trite in Tampa that Mr. Keiser had "lied to you, to us - not just about his arrests, about where be was bornowbo he is, what he does, where's he tradt.'? Mr. Hoyer went on: "From the bat we can determine, he was born in Ger- many. In a sense, he's not a person... Justice Department officials said the hospital where Mr. Keiser said he had been born had not lost Its records and had no record of his birth. The officials also said the State Department, acting on behalf of the Immigration and Natu- ralization Service, had traced Mr. Kaiser's birth to Germany. Mr. Keiser denies he was born there. But E. Lawrence Barc eila Jr., an Assistant United States Attorney in Washington, who had worked with Mr. Kaiser in apprehending Mr. Wilson, told the Tampa magistrate he had checked out Mr. Kaiser's background, found him to be reliable, and was sure Mr. Keiser would appear to face the ' fraud charges in Tampa. STAT Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/07/23: CIA-RDP90-00552R000303150010-0