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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Accused Sex Tourist Thomas White Will Continue Resisting Extradition

Posted By on Tue, Jan 4, 2011 at 2:45 PM

click to enlarge Danny Garcia says he was recruited to find boys willing to testify against Thomas White
  • Danny Garcia says he was recruited to find boys willing to testify against Thomas White

Thomas White, a San Francisco financier imprisoned in Mexico after accusations he traveled to Puerto Vallarta to molest underaged boys, will continue resisting extradition to the United States. Oddly, he does so despite a recent jury verdict convicting one of his main accusers of participating in a murder and fraud scheme that included plans to entrap an elderly man by accusing him of sexual abuse.

"I've advised him he's not going to get a fair trial here," said Stuart Hanlon, White's San Francisco attorney. White "has a U.S. government believing people like David Replogle and Danny Garcia. And you wonder why you'd not get a fair trial?

Former San Francisco attorney Replogle was convicted Monday of helping murder Palm Springs retiree Clifford Lambert. A jury considered allegations that he was part of a confidence scheme purportedly led by alleged grifters Garcia and and his friend Kaushal Niroula, both of whom are awaiting trial on murder charges.

White has been sitting in a Puerto Vallarta jail for more than eight years

resisting extradition on a 2003 U.S. criminal indictment alleging he had

sex with underage boys. White gained additional notoriety in 2003 when

Garcia, with Replogle as his lawyer, sued the San Francisco stockbroker

on allegations that the older man had sex with Garcia while the

plaintiff was underage. Replogle also filed a separate lawsuit on behalf

of several Puerto Vallarta-area boys who made similar allegations. White

claimed he'd been a target of young grifters. But he settled both suits

for a total of $10 million.

David Replogle
  • David Replogle
In a subsequent affidavit, Garcia

said he'd helped Replogle recruit boys in Mexico willing to testify that

White had sex with them. According to a friend acquainted with both men, Niroula sought out Garcia after reading about the White settlement. The two became close friends, with Replogle eventually developing a relationship with Nepalese immigrant Niroula, a notorious alleged con man who was the subject of our April 2009 cover story The Dark Prince.

News accounts of proceedings in Riverside County say Garcia, Niroula, Replogle, and other co-conspirators plotted to extract a settlement from  Lambert, based on an allegation that the 74-year-old Palm Springs man had sexually assaulted Niroula. The scheme allegedly escalated into one in which the plotters attempted to fraudulently sell Lambert's house, then stabbed him to death to conceal the crime. Riverside County prosecutors have now obtained two guilty pleas and two guilty verdicts in connection with Lambert's death, despite the fact no body has been discovered.

In an interview, Garcia told us that Lambert is actually hiding somewhere in Mexico, and that there was no murder.

Though Replogle's guilty verdict would seem to potentially discredit at least part of the case against White, Hanlon said he's not ready to invite his client to San Francisco to face charges. White has so far resisted extradition to the U.S. under the so-called doctrine of double criminality, which holds that for an accused criminal to be subject to extradition, he must have done something recognized as a crime in both countries. U.S. charges against White were filed under a federal sex-tourism law that makes it illegal to travel abroad intending to have sex with children. Mexico's lack of such a law has been the basis of White's battle to remain in Mexico -- a battle Hanlon says doesn't end with Replogle's conviction. There mere fact that U.S. prosecutors might have been aided by Replogle in their search for evidence shows lack of good faith, Hanlon said.

In response to an earlier request for information about White's case, a U.S. Justice Department spokesman cited the agency's policy of not commenting on pending cases.

"They use these people, people who are found to be scoundrels and murderers," Hanlon said. "I've been doing this a long time, and I don't feel he'll get a fair trial here."

Notwithstanding, Hanlon said he's seeking some sort of negotiated resolution with federal prosecutors.

"It doesn't have anything to do with his guilt or innocence: White is 77 years old. He'd like to finish his days with his family here," Hanlon said. "If there were a reasonable way to resolve it, we would resolve it."

Asked if White was seeking some sort of plea deal, Hanlon would only say: "We would entertain a resolution."

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