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Friday, June 17, 2011

Jimmy Tebeau Indictment: Feds Trying to Seize His Money, Too

Posted By on Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 4:15 PM

Jimmy Tebeau: The feds want his land -- and his money.
  • Jimmy Tebeau: The feds want his land -- and his money.
Federal prosecutors allege that undercover agents purchased illegal drugs more than 100 times at Camp Zoe, the 350-acre camp in rural Missouri that they're trying to seize from owner Jimmy Tebeau.

In a new asset forfeiture complaint filed this morning in federal court, prosecutors outlined the reasons why they believe they should be permitted to seize proceeds from the camp, which has been home to dozens of Schwagstock festivals. As we reported previously, they filed a grand jury indictment yesterday against the camp's owner, James T. "Jimmy" Tebeau, charging him with a single felony count of "maintaining a drug-involved premises."

The federal government first filed paperwork to seize Camp Zoe for seven months. According to the new case they filed this morning, which also seeks the right to seize a quarter-million dollars in profits from Tebeau, agents have been working their investigation since 2006.
During that time period, they allege, undercover agents "specifically observed the open sales of cocaine, marijuana, LSD, ecstasy, psilocybin mushrooms, opium, and marijuana-laced food products by individuals attending the music festival." Those agents allegedly made "over 100 undercover purchases."

And, they claim, Camp Zoe staffers looked the other way. Per the indictment:

Many of the illegal drug transactions were conducted while Camp Zoe staffmembers, including the owner Tebeau, were in the immediate area and took no action to prevent the activity. Additionally, there were several known locations along roads and foot trails in Camp Zoe where individuals would commonly congregate, display their illegal drugs, and call out what they were selling as individuals walked by; Camp Zoe staff undertook no action to break up or prevent these known gatherings.
We have a call out to Tebeau's lawyer, Scott Rosenblum; we'll update this post if we hear back.

The feds allege that festivals at Camp Zoe routinely drew 5,000 to 6,000 people. They say that Tebeau made $1.4 million from gate receipts for the festivals from August 2006 to November 2010, when they first began attempting to seize the property.

As the complaint acknowledges, when the feds began asset forfeiture proceedings against Tebeau, they also seized his money -- taking $137,710 from two different bank accounts.

The new complaint alleges that, since Tebeau "managed or controlled Camp Zoe and intentionally made it for us, with or without compensation, for the purpose of unlawfully distributing or using controlled substances," the government should get even more of his profits. They're asking the judge to grant them a judgment worth $250,000, or, alternatively, "two times the gross receipts...from each violation."

Incidentally, there's been zero activity on the original forfeiture case the feds filed in November in hopes of seizing Camp Zoe since January -- when the feds asked for a stay to focus on its criminal investigation.

January is also when the bank that actually owns the property made it clear that it has the first lien. In essence, the bank's claim stated that the feds couldn't seize the land from Tebeau -- because, by virtue of the mortgage Tebeau took out on the property, they are its true owners. That could be why the feds are now focusing on the gate receipts from the Schwagstock events -- or maybe, they're just greedy bastards.

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