Lakin required to put $325k in escrow for East Alton home

Steve Gonzalez Feb. 1, 2008, 4:58am

Tom Lakin

Thomas Lakin has brokered a deal with federal prosecutors that calls for him to place $325,000 into an interest bearing escrow account for possible forfeiture in connection with allegations he gave women cocaine to have sex with a minor boy.

Federal prosecutors had originally sought forfeiture of Lakin's East Alton residence, but a superseding indictment instead sought forfeiture of Lakin's $7 million Malibu home.

He faces an 18-count indictment on various drug and sex crime charges.

Lakin, who has pleaded not guilty, is represented by Scott Rosenblum and Gilbert Sison of St. Louis. His trial is set for March 17 in Benton.

"Lowell Thomas Lakin shall retain the right to assert any and all defenses concerning whether or not the acts occurred which would make the East Alton real estate subject to forfeiture in the first place; however, he hereby waives any defense based on the premise that the escrow funds did not facilitate the illegal activity alleged or that the escrow funds are not directly forfeitable," wrote U.S. District Judge J. Phil Gilbert Jan. 28.

Gilbert also wrote, "The United States and Lowell Thomas Lakin further stipulate that the value of the East Alton real estate is $325,000.00 plus the interest earned thereon. The United States shall not seek to forfeit any additional amounts or property as a substitute property for the East Alton real estate, and Lowell Thomas Lakin agrees that he is not entitled to any portion of said $325,000.00 plus interest to be returned to him should the East Alton property be determined to be real estate subject to forfeiture."

Once Lakin places the money in a financial institution satisfactory to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the government has agreed it will not take Lakin's home.

If a jury finds that the allegations against Lakin occurred at his East Alton home, he would instead forfeit the money in the escrow account.

Lakin's indictment alleges he had engaged in sex with underage John Doe both before and after taking him to Malibu in May 2005. It alleges that John Doe declined Lakin's requests for oral sex in California but once they returned to East Alton the relationship continued.

The indictment also states that Lakin gave several females cocaine so they would engage in sexual activity with John Doe so Lakin could watch and masturbate, after the minor declined further sexual activity with Lakin himself.

On Jan. 29, Gilbert gave Lakin's legal team until Feb. 7, to respond to a government motion which seeks to introduce evidence pursuant to Rules 404(b) and 413 of the Federal Rules of Evidence, or alternatively, as intricately-related evidence involving 20 "Jane Does."

In a 36-page filing, the government claims that witnesses identified as Jane Does 7, 8 and 9 will testify that in late November 2001, "Lakin gave a plateful of powder cocaine, measuring approximately 12" x 12" x 2" to Jane Doe 7 as a birthday present for her 20th birthday."

Other evidence the government plans to introduce includes the testimony of a witness who saw Lakin and his guests use cocaine approximately 100 times between 1992 and 2005.

On Jan. 30, Gilbert also set the hearing date on that motion, along with the final pre-trial hearing to be held at 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 12 in Benton.

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