St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri on March 10, 1988 · Page 4
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri · Page 4

St. Louis, Missouri
Issue Date:
Thursday, March 10, 1988
Page 4
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ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH THURSDAY, MARCH 10, 1988 E. St. Louis Papers Subpoenaed By H.J. Jackson Of the Post-Dispatch Staff A federal grand jury in East St. Louis has subpoenaed all of the documents relating to that city's $473 million worth of riverfront development projects. The grand jury is studying the possibility of wrongdoing connected with tax-free industrial revenue bonds issued to pay for the projects, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel V. Merkel said Wednesday. "There's a question as to the validity of the issuance of these bonds and as to whether there was money to back them up," Merkel said. He said 10 to 12 people and institutions had been subpoenaed, but he refused to identify them. The investigation is the third involving subpoenas demanding that documents from the riverfront projects be turned over to law enforcement officials. Subpoenas demanding the same information were issued previously by the U.S. attorney in Agana, Guam, and by the St. Clair County state's attorney in Belleville. Mayor Carl E. Officer was in New York Wednesday for a court hearing on litigation involving two of three riverfront projects. He was unavailable for comment. East St. Louis City Clerk Alzada C. Carr and Alderman Clarence Ellis, chairman pro tern of the Aldermanic Council, got the latest subpoenas Tuesday. Merkel said, "We don't have any particular targets beyond whatever the investigation turns up." In 1985, East St. Louis financed three riverfront projects with tax-free industrial revenue bonds. The bonds were issued by the Matthews & Wright Group, an investment banking company on Wall Street. The projects and the bond amounts are: Rivergate Housing Complex, $125 million; a waste-recovery and trash-recycling plant, $125 million; and a cargo port on the Mississippi River, $223 million. Several months after the bonds were issued, federal authorities began investigating allegations that the bonds were issued fraudulently. In January, Edward K. Strauss, an attorney from Pittsburgh who scrutinized the bond transactions, pleaded guilty in federal court in Guam of failure to diclose that $3 billion in revenue bond transactions by Matthews & Wright were fraudulent. The charge against Strauss involved 13 municipal bond issues nationally. Two of those were for the waste-recovery plant and the port project in East St. Louis. Charges in connection with the bond transactions are pending against Arthur Abba Goldberg, a vice president of Matthews & Wright, and Frederick Mann, an officer with the Commercial Bank of Americas of Sai-pan, an island near Guam. Federal investigators allege Matthews & Wright rushed the bond issues to beat a deadline for changes in federal regulations on bond tax exemption. Widely Sought Rapist Caught Downtown By Bill Bryan Of the Post-Dispatch Staff Law-enforcement authorities across the country are interested in Bobby Gene Dennie, who was captured Tuesday in St. Louis in connection with a kidnapping and rape. Detective Jeff Helbling of the city's intelligence unit said Wednesday, "Our phones haven't quit ringing with calls from other jurisdictions wanting to know more" about Dennie. Dennie, 37, of Falmouth, Ky., boasted after his arrest that he had committed many rapes, Helbling said. He also implicated himself in a murder in Las Vegas, Nev., the detective said. Dennie is "a big-timer," an FBI agent said. "He's a highly sought-after fugitive." Helbling and his partner, Detective Marlin Mueller, arrested Dennie without incident shortly after a wom an reported she had been kidnapped in western Missouri, raped and freed in downtown St. Louis. Officers said the woman, 37, of Odessa, Mo., had identified Dennie as the man who raped her at knifepoint early Tuesday at a tavern where she works in Oak Grove, about 200 miles west of St. Louis. The woman said her attacker had then ordered her to drive east. They stopped at a motel in Wentzville, where she was raped again. They continued to St. Louis, and the man got out of the car downtown, Helbling said. Dennie was arrested less than a half-hour later near Ninth and Locust streets. "He gets around by hanging around the truck stops," Helbling said. "And he's smoother than you would think." In addition to the kidnapping-rape charges in Jackson County, Mo., Dennie is wanted for sexual assault in Newton, Ky.; felony theft in Batavia, Ohio; and murder in Las Vegas. "He said he woke up and found the body of a woman that he knew with a belt around her neck," Helbling said. "He also said he had committed several rapes and indicated the number could be as high as 50." Dennie has spent most of the last 1514 years in prisons, starting with a robbery and rape conviction in Kentucky in 1972. In that span, Dennie has been paroled three times, but records show that he violated the parole within a year in each case. Kentucky had been looking for Dennie since May, when he violated the terms of his latest parole from a Kentucky prison in September 1986. Dennie told Helbling that he had gone to Las Vegas in November to work as a cook. Dennie said he had fled after finding the woman's body in a motel room Nov. 11. 2nd Man Charged In Holdup At St. Louis Centre A second man has been charged with the robbery of a jewelry store in St. Louis Centre. Police believe he has fled from the state. Detectives said Wednesday that they were looking for Ronald Wren, 28. He goes by the nick name, "Football," and his last known address was in the 2700 block of Sem-ple Avenue, said Detective Michael Wren Roe. Wren was charged Tuesday night in at-large warrants with first-degree robbery and armed criminal action in connection with the holdup Sunday of the Shims Jewelers shop, at 515 North Sixth Street, in St. Louis Centre. Two gunmen took diamond rings, necklaces and other jewelry items with an estimated wholesale value of $50,000 to $100,000. None of the jewelry has been recovered, Roe said. Marvin Burt, 18, was arrested Monday after his palm print was found on a display case in the store. He confessed and has been charged with the robbery, police said. Burt lives in the 1100 block of North Seventh Street, in the Cochran Gardens apartments. Wren's palm print also was found at the jewelry store, Roe said. Wren has a lengthy criminal background that includes robbery convictions in St. Louis, Los Angeles and St. Clair County. He has spent most of the last 13 years in prison, police said. He was paroled last month in connection with a robbery in St. Clair County, detectives said. ACCESSORIZE WITH A mm JEWELRY SPECIALIST r I ill v A, A mm- 'IN FOCUS' PERSONAL PHOTOGRAPH & JEWELRY PROFILE, YOUR GIFT WITH ANY S15 TRIFARI PURCHASE J Vf I " , f . - 5vi Jr - J y5 . ' ARE YOU WEARING THE JLWELRY THAT BEST ACCESSORIZES YOUR FACIAL SHAPE. COLORING AND LIFESTYLE? LET TRIFARI S JEWELRY SPECIALISTS GIVE YOU A COMPLETE ACCESSORY MAKEOVER ALONG WITH YOUR IN FOCUi' PHOTOGRAPHED STYLE OF JEWELRY WHEN YOU STOP BY OUR TRIFARI COUNTER AT THE STORES AND TIMES BELOW. THE COLLECTION, S7.50-S45. FASHION JEWELRY. FRIDAY. MARCH 11 CHESTERFIELD. 11 A.M. -2 P M JAMESTOWN. 6 P M.-9 P.M. SATURDAY. MARCH 12 SAINT LOUIS GALLERIA. 11 A.M. -3 P.M. Dillard's ST. LOUIS CENTRE CHESTERFIELD ST. LOUIS GALLERIA NORTHWEST JAMESTOWN SOUTH COUNTY ST. CLAIR CRESTW00D MID RIVERS SAVE ON GRACEFUL STYLES FOR SPRING & EASTER pLJ Dress Sale $34.99 Keg. 45.00 9-YVEST "SCARLETT" Classic stylo and design updated with a shapely silhouette for the contemporary woman. 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