From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1996:

Allen G. Schwartz, U.S. District Judge for Washington
D . C ., on April 4 issued a default judgement against former H u m a n e
Society of the U.S. board member Irwin H. (Sonny) Bloch, 58, his wife
Hilda, and six of his companies, ordering them to repay $3.9 million they
collected under allegedly fraudulent pretext via the radio talk show Bloch
hosted from 1980 to 1995. Bloch is also charged in Newark federal court
with defrauding investors of $21 million, and in Manhattan with tax fraud
and perjury. HSUS executives have refused to say to what extent HSUS
might have been influenced by Bloch’s financial advice. He was associated
with HSUS for at least a decade, was elected to the board in January
1991, and left coincidental with his indictment early last year.

International Society for Animal Rights founder Helen Jones
on March 21 filed a motion seeking dismissal of the lawsuit filed against
her on February 28 by the ISAR board. Recently ousted from the ISAR
presidency she had held since 1959, Jones and her sometime driver,
Edward Woodyat, are accused of significantly breaching her fiduciary
duties toward ISAR, and are asked to make $1 million restitution of
assets allegedly illegally converted to their personal use. The Internal
Revenue Service is meanwhile said to be investigating information from
former ISAR staff and volunteers that longtime Jones confidante and
ISAR attorney Henry Mark Holzer received substantial sums from ISAR
on a regular basis via his Brooklyn-based Institute for Animal Rights
L a w, which were not reported on the ISAR filings of IRS Form
990––although ISAR newsletters published since 1991 make frequent reference
to supporting IARL. The winter 1991 ISAR newsletter mentioned
“the newly-formed IARL,” but a request to the New York State Bureau
of Charities Registration for the IARL filings of IRS Form 990 brought
word that IARL had only applied for charitable status just this year.
Holzer did not respond to messages left by telephone and fax.

Schools of cruelty
Four members of the East Bernard High Brahmas, two-time
Class 2A Texas baseball champions, face cruelty charges for stuffing a
three-year-old tabby cat named Tiger into a feed bag, beating her with
bats, and then crushing the remains with a pickup truck on March
16––because she defecated on the diamond. Three teammates who tried
to conceal the evidence have not been charged. “Most of the town seems
to have rallied behind the boys, and a wave of protest over the school
superintendent’s decision to oust them from the baseball team has turned
savage,” The New York Times reported on April 2. “Two dead cats were
dumped on the superintendent’s front yard over the weekend.”
Nationally, however, the level of outrage may be higher than over any
cruelty case since three young men torture-killed Duke the Dalmatian near
Philadelphia last year.
University of Florida police on March 27 asked State
Attorney Red Smith to press cruelty charges against arts senior Vince
Gothard, 24, of Orlando, who bought 30 baby mice from a snake food
supplier, then dipped them in hot resin to form plastic “mouse cubes.”
Gothard’s lawyer, Robert Rush, said the exercise was no more cruel than
either ordinary mouse-trapping or biomedical research. “Mice feel pain
just as intensely as a horse or a dog or a cat,” returned Gainesville nurse
and animal rights advocate Holly Jensen. “That mice are not as popular
doesn’t mean their pain is of no consequence. This isn’t what you think
of when you think of fine arts––that a person could consciously drown
mice in hot resin and sit there and watch them suffer and die and not feel
he was doing anything wrong.”

Dutch activists Frank Kocera, 25, and Eric van de Laan,
20, have reportedly confessed to 12 arsons and attempted arsons against
meat trucks and slaughtering plants, all between March 30, 1995, and
March 25, 1996, when they were arrested in Amsterdam. They are said
to have operated under the acronyms R A T, for Right Animal
Treatment, and AJF, for Animal Justice Front.
Ty Russell, owner of the Petland pet shop in Pensacola,
Florida, was at deadline uncertain whether to prosecute David Atkinson,
15, and a 14-year-old companion for stealing a yellow flame knee spider
on April 6. Though detected by a security camera, the two got
away––temporarily––and mailed the spider to the brother of one of them,
an Atlanta resident who was planning a visit to Venezuela. The idea was
that the brother should release the spider in her native habitat.

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