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Last Billionaire Boys Club Case Dismissed; Star Witness Uncooperative

November 07, 2000|From Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — A San Mateo County judge on Monday dismissed the remaining Billionaire Boys Club case after the state's star witness, who is in the witness protection program, declined to provide defense attorneys his new identity and address.

Superior Court Judge Carl Holm said the defendant, Reza Eslaminia, could not adequately cross-examine a witness whose new identity is unknown.

Eslaminia and four others were accused of kidnapping Eslaminia's father, Hedayat Eslaminia, a high-ranking Iranian official, in an alleged extortion plot. Authorities said he was kidnapped from his Belmont apartment and suffocated in a locked trunk while being driven to Southern California in 1984.

Two years ago, a federal judge overturned the murder and kidnapping convictions of Reza Eslaminia and Arben "Ben" Dosti. Prosecutors fought successfully to retry the pair. Dosti pleaded guilty in August to reduced charges and was freed from prison.

The Billionaire Boys Club consisted mostly of wealthy young Southern Californians who attempted a variety of get-rich-quick schemes that failed. Reza Eslaminia insisted that he did not participate in his father's kidnapping and had no motive for wishing him dead, because he knew that his father's once substantial fortune was gone.

There were five defendants in the case. Dean Karny, the witness who declined to give his new identity, received immunity in exchange for his testimony.

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