Foreclosure filed against 3 accused of plotting death

Leader, members of alleged cult jailed on $1 million bail each

February 01, 2002|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

While the reputed leader of a space-alien cult and three others sit in the Carroll County Detention Center awaiting trial on murder-conspiracy charges, two foreclosure actions have been filed on their Westminster houses.

The four were charged Oct. 3 with plotting between August and Sept. 15 to have a one-time bodyguard kill a former business associate, but the supposed hit man instead revealed the alleged plot. They have been in jail since on $1 million bail each.

This week, a Bethesda law firm filed the civil foreclosure actions on behalf of the bank against three of the four defendants. Their houses could be sold at auction.

The three defendants named in the foreclosures are Scott Caruthers, 56, and his wife, Dashieile Lashra, 42, and David S. Pearl, 46, a lawyer. The fourth defendant, Dulsa Naedek, 42, was a live-in companion with Caruthers and his wife at their house in the 500 block of Scott Drive.

Court papers include a copy of a 1999 deed for Caruthers' house on Scott Drive with a $184,400 principal balance due by August 2029. As of Jan. 10, the balance was $186,327.26, owed to Firstar Bank N.A., according to papers tiled by the law firm acting as substitute trustees.

The foreclosure action naming Pearl and his wife, who is not a defendant in the criminal cases, also is on behalf of Firstar against their house in the 100 block of Masters Court, according to the court file. Firstar holds the note for $210,800 on the 1999 deed, also due in 2029. The balance due as of Jan. 10 was $219,556.33.

Pearl's criminal defense attorney, Gary S. Bernstein, said the matter is simple: His client has been in jail for months on $1 million bail he cannot post, and he is not working.

"I don't know why that's newsworthy, why his family's financial misfortune is newsworthy," Bernstein said. "That's cruel to his child and his wife."

In arguing for lower bail in October, Bernstein said in court that the supposed hit man was running a "scam." Of one supposed target, he said Caruthers needed the former business associate alive because they were involved in a civil lawsuit and were under investigation by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.

Richard L. Gershberg, a lawyer and sometime associate of Caruthers, represented him, Lashra and Naedek in District Court after their arrests and said that any plot that existed was against them, not by them. But he said at the time, and again yesterday, that he would not be their criminal defense attorney.

Caruthers, an inventor, author and artist, had been profiled in The Sun as the leader of an alien cult and who claimed to communicate with a mother spaceship through cats, according to former associates and journals sent to him and an organization called BDX, or Beta Dominion Xenophilia.

Caruthers has said this was not a cult and that the journals were sent to him to aid his science-fiction writing. He also was a co-founder of a Hunt Valley telecommunications business and had other business ventures, including the Strongput exercise weight.

A fifth defendant, Amy C. Dardick, 39, formerly of the 500 block of Scott Drive, was charged Oct. 20 with a similar conspiracy to have her ex-husband killed. She was released on $10,000 bail and allowed to enter deprogramming treatment.

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