FOR INFORMATION OF THE BUREAU AND RECEIVING OFFICES, JUDGE CHARLES RICHEY, U.S. DISTRICT COURT, WASHINGTON, D.C. RECUSED HIMSELF FROM THIS CASE ON JULY 16, 1980. A NEW TRIAL JUDGE HAS YET TO BE APPOINTED.
United States District Court Judge Charles R. Richey
HERMANN ADMITTED PLACING A BUGGING DEVICE IN AN INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE OFFICE WHERE TAX OFFICIALS WERE DISCUSSING THE CHURCH’S TAX EXEMPT STATUS.
HERMANN TOLD THE JUDGE THAT HE PERSONALLY PLANTED THE “BUG” BECAUSE “I AT LEAST HAD THE SENSE TO DO IT WITHOUT BUMBLING ABOUT. I FELT IT WAS BETTER IF I DID THIS THAN SOMEONE ELSE BECAUSE I FELT IF SOMEONE ELSE DID IT, IT MIGHT BE DONE IN AN INEPT FASHION THAT WOULD PRECIPITATE A DISASTER.”
ALL THE DEFENDANTS SENTENCED THURSDAY — INCLUDING MARY SUE HUBBARD, WIFE OF CHURCH FOUNDER L. RON HUBBARD — SAID THEY WERE SORRY FOR THEIR CRIMES. ONE, HENNING HELDT, SAID THE CHURCH LEADERS WERE REACTING TO GOVERNMENT ATTEMPTS TO “DESTROY THEIR RELIGION AND MAKE A MOCKERY OF THEIR BELIEFS.”
On 12/7/79, USDC Richey, WDC, sentenced Mitchell Hermann to four years; Cindy Raymond and Gerald Wolfe to five years; and Sharon Thomas to one year. In addition, Hermann, Raymond, and Wolfe were fined $10,000 each. Thomas was fined $1,000 and six months of her sentence was suspended.