The Reagan Speech Preservation Society

Billie Sol Estes

Modified: Tuesday, 07 October 2014 17:43 by admin - Uncategorized
Billie Sol Estes is a former financier who used numerous welfare ponzi schemes to make millions of dollars before he was caught, tried and convicted (part of his conviction was later overturned on the grounds that excessive media publicity had made an impartial trial impossible).


Speech Relevance

Reagan mentions Sol Estes briefly in 'A Time For Choosing':
At the same time, there has been an increase in the Department of Agriculture employees. There is now one for every 30 farms in the United States, and still they can't tell us how 66 shiploads of grain headed for Austria disappeared without a trace and Billie Sol Estes never left shore.

Billie Sol Estes, ran several schemes which relied on deception and bribery in order to amass a large fortune, until he was caught.

The first involved nonexistent ammonia storage tanks. He would convince farmers to purchase them, then lease the tanks himself from the farmer for the mortgage price. Using these false mortgages as collateral, he took out massive loans from out-of-state banks who were unable to physically check the tanks.

In another, he had bribed government officials (three Dept. of Agriculture officials were taken to a Neiman Marcus in Dallas) to receive a government contract which would allow him to perform grain storage.

At the time of Reagan's speech, Billie Sol Estes was in the process of being tried and convicted of fraud in relation to cotton allotments (put in place by the Department of Agriculture as part of price-control quotas). Sol Estes had found a way to acquire these normally non-transferable allotments from farmers, but he was caught.

In the years after his incarceration, Estes has come clean about his past. His claims before a grand jury implicate President Lyndon Johnson in the murder of a Department of Agriculture official, Henry Marshall, who's death had dubiously been labeled a suicide when it first happened (shot five times with a bolt-action rifle). Estes additionally claimed, in letters sent from his attorney to the Department of Justice, that Estes, President Johnson and two others, Cliff Carter and Mac Wallace, were responsible for an additional seven murders, including the planning of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. This claim cannot be substantiated.


Source Links

Billie Sol Estes (Wikipedia)

Con Artist Hall of Infamy : Billie Sol Estes

Billie Sol Estes : Biography

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