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Prosecutors seek properties from Alamo's ministry

Posted: June 10, 2013 12:50 p.m.
Updated: June 10, 2013 12:50 p.m.
 

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Federal prosecutors on Monday filed court papers to seize more than two dozen properties associated with imprisoned Arkansas evangelist Tony Alamo to help pay the $2.5 million in restitution he owes to women he took as his "brides" when they were children.

Alamo is serving a 175-year prison sentence for taking girls as young as age 8 across state lines for sex. He also ordered to pay restitution, but U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge said Alamo has made no payments.

Alamo also faces other civil court actions, including a $30 million judgment over his alleged abuse of members of his apocalyptic ministry, based in Fouke.

Prosecutors are seeking to seize properties in Fouke, Fort Smith and Texarkana. The properties are owned by people who prosecutors say are members of Tony Alamo Christian Ministries. Prosecutors argue that Alamo continues to control his ministry and businesses from prison.

"We will use every tool at our disposal to see that Tony Alamo pays the $2.5 million he owes to the victims in this case. The victims in this case suffered from horrendous abuse at his hands. We will do all we can to ensure that they receive the restitution that was ordered," Eldridge said in a news release.

Alamo's attorney, John Rogers of Clayton, Mo., didn't immediately return a call seeking comment Monday.

Alamo was recently transferred from a federal lockup in Marion, Ill., to one in Oklahoma City because several women considered to be Alamo's "wives" have followed him from prison city to prison city to help him continue to control his operations.

The government argues that Alamo used the properties to further his abuse of children and conceal the acts from authorities. Prosecutors said one property was used to house a victim without food for an extended period as a form of punishment. At another, Alamo forced children to witness the beating of a child who disobeyed him, prosecutors said.

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