Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
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Original Classification: 
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Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
October 4, 2012
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Case Number: 
Publication Date: 
February 3, 1985
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PDF icon CIA-RDP90-00965R000302300026-9.pdf101.69 KB
1 I II II Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/04: CIA-RDP90-00965R000302300026-9 ok ARTICLE APPEARED CN PACE -7. FUGITIVES' TRACER VANISHES HIMSELF Man Who Sought to Capture' Vesco Fails to Appear for Meeting in Fraud Case By JEFF GERTH Spwy to no New Yet Trees WASHINGTON, Feb. T - Ernest R. Keiser, a man the Federal Government has relied on to bring back some of its most notorious fugitives, is now a ftugi. tiva himself. His, disappearance has -left behind a series of puzrlbrg goes tidns 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- plied 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. Vesco and other prominent fugitives. On Thursday, Mr. Kaiser's attorney, William Aronwald, 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 Kaiser and Wife Mr. Keiser was scheduled to go an 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 week in Tampa on separate charges that she lied about the Keiser finances in connection with a bail hearing for Mr. Keiser. The questions about Mr. Kaiser 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. Kaiser portrays himself as a secret Government "operative," In- volved In snaring Nazis biding out to South America, illegally ensesirg com- .mpnia countries to high-level free dissident, In. Middle East and Soutdrug h America in the and assisting the Central Intelligence Agency in the 1960's by secretly supply. ing guns in the Algerian war of lads Vesee Reported to Cuba In the interview, Mr. Keiser ds scribed in detail his efforts, through a Mexican associate, to trap Mr. Vasco, who, according to Federal law enforce. meat officials, is living in Cuba and is trying there to help the coturtty obtain American technology. Mr. Vasco is wanted in connection with a 24 mil- lion . fraud case. But court records, law-enforcement documents and Justice Department of ficials say the C.I.A. is prepared to tag tify that Mr. Keiser never had any rela- tionship with the agency, that some of the exploits in the biography never oc- curred, in part because he was in jail, and that he has frequently been In- volved 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 can, where Mr. Keiser is charged with an indicted banker pf 300,000 prom. ising to help fix his case, is Mr. Keis- er's role in seeking to apprehend Mr. Vasco. An affadavft by an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation says Mr. Keiser told the banker he could take care of his case. Mr. Kaiser'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 fain passport." In 1973, Mr. Keiser pleaded no contest to state larceny charges in Broward County. The files of Interpol, the Vienna-based word 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 Plepe,elw Law-enforcemept officials have onion questioned Mr. Keiser's true identjty, according to the Broward County files, the Interpol flies and testi- mony in Federal District Court in acipa. Mr. Keiser bas said be was born in New York in 1918, in a hospital that lost its birth rscbrds. Tracing Mr. that hia f is xted by the fact that his cannot he coign ug by standard temdgws, accord. De l . to Florida afiicdara~ and Justice Do- Last year Chris Boyer, than a Fed- eral prosecutor, told a Federal mag& trate in Tampa that Mr. Keiser had "lied to you, to us - not just about his arrests, about whore he was born, who he is, what he does, where's he from." Mr. Hoyer want on: "From the but we can determine, he was born in Ger- many. Ina sense, be's not a paisoa." Justice Department officials said tbs hospital where Mr. Keiser said he bad 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. Ke jar's birth to Germany. Mr. Kaiser denies he was born there. . But E. Lawrence Barcella Jr., an Assistant United States Attorney in Washington, who had worked with Mr. Keiser in apprehending Mr. Wilson, told the Tampa magistrate he had checked out Mr. Kaiser's backppmd, found him to be reliable, and was sure face mar to the Mr. Keiser would fraud charges In Tampa. Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/04: CIA-RDP90-00965R000302300026-9