Tb» Porl* Now*, Jim* 5. 1965 7C Government nears settlement with Cauble Enterprises DENTON, Texas (AP) — A year after millionaire rancher Rex Cauble went to prison for masterminding one of Texas' largest drug- smuggling schemes, attorneys say they are on the verge of a $12 million buy-back deal that could leave the cowboy's empire nearly intact. Cauble, 71, the horseriding, gambling godfather of an oil, banking and real estate empire, was convicted in 1982 of violating federal racketeering, banking and criminal travel laws. He was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to forfeit his nearly one-third interest in Cauble Enterprises — a three-way partnership valued at more than $80 million. But legal wrangling has kept the government from settling the forfeiture, and has made federal officials partners in business with Cauble's family. For more than three years, lawyers have battled in and out of court over how to carve up Cauble's 31 percent share of the partnership, owned by Cauble, his wife and son. Defense lawyers have contended that the government legally can't split it up. "All the government is entitled to is what Mr. Cauble was entitled to," said Raymond A. Krell, a Houston attorney representing Cauble's wife, Josephine. Said Sam Buffone, an attorney for Cauble in Washington: "We contend that the government is not entitled to any rights greater than any other creditor." So for the last 3V 2 years the government has become a minority partner in Cauble Enterprises, taking over Cauble's 31 percent interest. Federal lawyers have taken on the added role of overseer and part-time manager, approving checks and contracts and making life miserable for the Cauble clan, according to Krell. "It's difficult to do business while the government is essentially your partner. The government's involvement has caused substantial harm ... Other businessmen don't know if the government has the right to seize any assets so they'd rather not do business," Krell said. The millionaire's family has presented plans for getting rid of their unwanted partner, but until now those offers have been rejected. "Everyone agrees that the government needs to get out of our business, but we've had to agree on what we wanted to do that would get them out," Krell said. Now, Cauble's attorneys say they have made a new offer they hope the government won't refuse. Krell said a solution is possible "within 30 days." But on Friday, government attorneys said "the chances of a settlement occurring in the next few days is very high." No one will reveal the terms of a possible solution, but sources agree the government stands to gain about $12 million — one of the largest forfeitures under the Racketeering, Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act. At the same time, Cauble Enterprises will lose a few properties but remain largely intact. The deal etched in top-secret sessions would enable Mrs. Cauble and Cauble's son, Lewis Rex, to buy back the confiscated properties from the government, attorneys on both sides said. Cauble — whose rich and powerful friends include former Texas Gov. John Connally —• was convicted by a federal jury in January 1982 on charges of engineering an elaborate drug-smuggling operation. The scheme involved shrimp boats and seafaring cowboys — dubbed the "Cowboy Mafia" — who ferried more than 150,000 pounds of marijuana valued at about $55 million from Colombia, South America, into Texas in 1977 and 1978. Twenty-six members of the smuggling ring also were convicted. Once in Texas, the drug was transported to Cauble ranches, sold and the money laundered through Cauble businesses, according to U.S. Attorney Robert Wortham, who handled the case for the government. One of those businesses was Cutter Bill Western World - the western apparel store Texans call the Neiman-Marcus of the cowboy jetset. The store's merchandise includes items such as $3,000 silver belt buckles and $6,000 suede crocodile boots. "He (Cauble) was laundering drug money through his western wear stores," Wortham said. Attorney Mike Joplin of Dallas, who represents the government in the forfeiture, said the two Cutter Bill stores were among Cauble Enterprises' most valuable properties. Other prize holdings include some 15,000 acres of land in Denton and Leon counties, oil and gas holdings in Leon County, Western State Bank in Denton, which is 87-percent Cauble owned, and Exxon stock, Joplin said. Converted into cash and excluding debt, the properties are said to be worth about $83 million. On June 8, the Cutter Bill store in Dallas will close its doors — a victim of "circumstances beyond our control," according to a radio ad. The closing date for the Houston store has not been announced. While store president Steve Mallow insists the closing is strictly a business decision because "the property has become more valuable than a retail establishment can be," attorneys on both sides agree the stores have become casualties of the drug operation and of heavy debt. Heavy indebtedness and a need for an injection of new capital is what led the cigar-puffing rancher to look for profits in the drug trade, according to evidence presented during Cauble's trial. "The closing of the Cutter Bill stores is part of the business plan in handling Cauble Enterprises," Joplin said. "One of the reasons for the closing of the stores is just a general business decision by Cauble Enterprises," said Krell, "and also to use the proceeds from the sale of those properties to settle with the United .States." The western wear stores aren't the only casualties of the government's claims. Cauble's once- thriving Denton horse and cattle ranch is a little quieter these days. Many of the horses have been sold with the government's permission, Joplin said. And many of the employees have been released. Other areas of the Cauble empire appear to be cracking as the government, in conjunction with the limited partners, works to dissolve debt estimated last year at $43 million. "The limited partners have made a decision to sell assets to liquidate debt," Krell said. "There's nothing we're dying to sell, but we would entertain an offer to sell just about anything." By the time the legal haggling is over, "the government is going to get a substantial amount" of Cauble's empire, Joplin said. Other properties may be gone for good, "but it will continue to be a viable enterprise." So when Cauble walks out of the federal prison in about two years, chances are his six ranches, three banks, oil and gas fields and countless other holdings unknown or unclaimed by the government will still be there. Cauble associates insist the Cut- SAVE *2.00_ for Two (2) to Hawaii! See details at store Fswe 20' US*** Sweet Vililii Onus New Crop from Georgia H e SrV^ 30' ••«•• Tight Green Heads Fresl Inccili Safeway Special! 1C Lb. I Tasty & Refreshing Snllst Ullll Safeway Special! JC i*r" w Del Valley Safeway Special! $|P« r. I Lb. I S/*/ E 20« Crook Neck Yellow Squash Texas Home Grown Safeway Special,' Lb. Tight Clusters i igm i^iusiers mm /t\t* Fresh Cauliflower u 7Sr Good Boiled or Fried mm 4k A Red Potatoes 59° Smooth Waxy Leaves Pothos Ivy 3-'™*™ Special' ^Sl Lovely Fragrance Italian Heather Foil Wrapped Assorted Mums 4-Inch Pot $099 AH 6-Inch^ CoMra Pot .99 5^ /////////////////// s*L? 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Entry Blanks in store. No Purchase necessary. May 14 thru June 8.1985. //////////////////^^ • m«MiH«i UnHdMjx. H Vienna Sausage 9 $1 M S-oi I •• Cans • w/////i//////i//i/i//i///////////////////////m per ticket to Six Flags Take advantage of this super value right now. Purchase your tickets to Six Flags at Safeway through July 7, 1985. Have The Time After Time Of Your Life! NEW FOR KIDS! looncy I.;.:,-, |,»:..i designed especially for r'nidrrr: (tyn Daffy Duck, Sylvester arm inn* h, CMH NEW CHILD TICKET! T.Hr id ,-t iqr Child ticket for children u'-i'-'i •i'. 1 ",i h Six Fla^s DARING RIDES! Over iO'"i ' : .i<", ,v : Great Si* Fl.iqs Air Rarer DAZZLING ENTERTAINMENT! : live concerts'* hy the naN"''. '••*•<: ;*. .-,!.•:lie v.orld o< fun • wii'i Huqs Bunny, -.Orel •;ir $7.95 account :.i!i Av.iil.ible only .)! Concert Schedule Happy Together Tour June 8 * Howard Jon«s June U Fresh Festival June 14 * Amy Grant & Philip Bailey June 59 Air Supply-July Q7 * New Edition Auqust 0 » Heart August 16 Tickets Good Every Day Through the 1985 Season We Sell POSTAGE STAMPS 20-Cl BOO* 50 Prices Effective Wednesday June 5 thru Saturday. June 8, 1985. Sales in Retail Quantities Only. CB SAFEWAY HrMM»« ter Bill western stores that bear the name of Cauble's world champion Palomino cutting horse will soon be rebuilt on the millionaire's sprawling Denton ranch. And despite other losses, attorney Raymond Krell says he will fight to preserve the empire. "I'm going to keep Cauble Enterprises intact with the government in or out." Feud brews in area once home to Hatfields, McCoys MATEWAN, W.Va. (AP) - A new bloody battle is raging in the rugged, remote border area of eastern Kentucky .and southern West Virginia where the Hatfields and McCoys feuded their way into folklore 100 years ago. The conflict, pitting workers for non-union coal companies against striking United Mine Workers, has grown increasingly violent in recent weeks. A non-union truck driver hauling coal was killed and four others were wounded Wednesday when snipers opened fire from surrounding hills. Residents say they expect more violence and possibly more deaths. "It's a war," said Joby Fields. "It's real. We live it every day." Fields operates a fleet of trucks that since January have been carrying non-union coal from mines along Blackberry Creek in Kentucky, ancestral home of the McCoy clan, to a West Virginia preparation plant near Matewan, where Anderson "Devil Anse" Hatfield once made his home. The modern, multimillion-dollar preparation plant, guarded by a heavily armed security force, is owned by A.T. Massey, a sprawling enterprise that is part of a huge, international conglomerate headed by Royal Dutch Shell. Since October, the UMW has waged a selective strike aimed at forcing the company to sign the union contract approved by all of the other large coal companies in the East. The strike was peaceful until January when Massey began running coal from its formerly union mines on Blackberry Creek. At first the union responded with demonstrations at the preparation plant and blockades against the trucks. There was sporadic rock throwing. But residents believe the stage was set for increased violence in March when federal and state judges banned the demonstrations, "They left the union no choice," said a Matewan businessman who asked not to be identified. "When the courts limited the pickets they took away the union's only way of slopping the flow of coal." Union officials deny any knowledge of the shootings. "Picketing is one thing, but when it comes to shooting people, we're out of it," said Ernie Justice, outgoing president, of UMW District 30. Fields, who also owns a small mine, said he initially tried to remain neutral in the strike. "We were a union company last fall and I wanted to sign the UMW contract but the union wouldn't let me, presumably because of my connection with Massey." he said, "I tried to stay out of it but everything I've got is mortgaged and when the bills came due I was forced to haul coal or lose everything I've worked for all these years." Rainmaker Continued from Page 1C The play will open at 8 p.m. in the Calvary United Methodist Church Friday and run Saturday, June 8, and June 13, 14, 15 and 16. With the exception of the Thursday, June 14, performance, the production will be a dinner theater. The meal will be served from 6:30 p.m. until 7:15 p.m. during the night performances, and from 1:15 p.m. until 2 p.m. at the matinee performance Sunday, June 16. The play will be presented at 8 p.m. at all of the night performances and at 2:30 p.m. at the matinee performance. Due to the dinner arrangements and seating capacity, reservations must be made for each performance. Reservations for the upcoming weekend performances must be made by Thusday afternoon, said Dr. Campbell. However, reservations made for the later performances must be made four days prior to the performance date, she noted. The cost of the dinner theater is $12 for adults, $11 for senior citizens and $10 for children while the tickets without the dinner is $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens and $3 for children. To make reservations, or for more information, contact the PCT box office Monday through Friday from noon until 5 p.m. at 784-0259.
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