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Ameses Pressured to Transfer $2.2 Million in Alleged Payoffs

March 26, 1994|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The government sought Friday to have accused CIA turncoat Aldrich H. Ames and his wife held in contempt of court for failing to obey a court order to transfer to this country $2.2 million in alleged Russian payoffs.

The government also opposed a defense motion that a federal court allow them to spend up to $500 a month in now-frozen assets on expenses for their 5-year-old son, Paul. But Assistant U.S. Atty. Mark Hulkower said the government would agree to releasing $300 a month for the child if the Ameses turn over to the court the $2.2 million believed stashed overseas.

"The Ameses are no more entitled to have their ill-gotten gains released than the incarcerated bank robber is entitled to claim that stolen bank funds should be released to support his family," Hulkower argued in papers filed in U.S. District Court in suburban Alexandria, Va.

"If defendants' concern for the welfare of their child is genuine, they should make all their criminally derived funds available to the government, out of which their child will be supported."

Hulkower called it "an extraordinary display of audacity" for the defendants to defy the court's order to bring foreign assets here and at the same time ask the judge to modify his March 10 order barring them from spending any money in 11 foreign and domestic bank and brokerage accounts.

U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton has set a hearing for Tuesday for arguments on the motions.

Ames, a 31-year CIA veteran who once headed counterintelligence in the Soviet section, and his wife, Rosario, were arrested Feb. 21 on charges of spying for the Soviet Union and then Russia. They have been held without bail, and their son has been cared for by friends and relatives.

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