Minister Told To Pay $5.2 Million Restitution

TAMPA -- The Rev. Henry Lyons, once the powerful leader of one of the nation's largest black church groups, was ordered to pay $5.2 million in restitution for bank fraud and tax evasion.

Lyons, already serving 5 1/2 years in state prison for bilking companies and stealing from charities, also was sentenced to four years and three months behind bars. But the federal sentence will be served concurrently with the state sentence, U.S. District Judge Henry Lee Adams Jr. said.

Lyons, 57, asked for mercy before the sentencing. "I don't have a lot of time to right all the wrong I have done. . . . I need to do at least 100 good deeds for every bad deed."

Lyons pleaded guilty March 17 to five counts growing out of his business dealings as head of the group.

He admitted failing to pay taxes on $1.3 million in income, defrauding a bank and making false statements to a financial institution and to federal housing officials. In return, federal prosecutors dropped 49 other charges, including extortion, conspiracy and money laundering.

Adams waived a fine that could have ranged from $10,000 to $2 million.

Hirschfeld Is Declared Fit To Face Trial

NEW YORK -- Real estate mogul Abe Hirschfeld, who offered Paula Jones $1 million to end a lawsuit against President Clinton, was declared fit to defend himself on state tax-evasion charges, and plans to call former presidents Jimmy Carter and George Bush as witnesses.

Hirschfeld also wants to call as defense witnesses New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, real estate tycoon Donald Trump and civil rights activist Al Sharpton.

Since May 1997, when Hirschfeld pleaded not guilty to a 123-count indictment, he has fired at least 10 attorneys. The indictment also charged him and several of his corporations with scheming to defraud and other related charges. The trial is tentatively scheduled for June 24.

Canadian Is Executed In Texas for Murder

HUNTSVILLE, Tex. -- Stanley Faulder on Thursday became the first Canadian since the 1950s to be put to death in the United States when he was executed by injection for murdering an elderly woman. His death ended more than two decades of legal battles and diplomatic skirmishing that strained U.S.-Canadian relations.

The former auto mechanic from Jasper, Alberta, was sentenced to die for the 1975 murder of Inez Phillips during a botched robbery at her home in Gladewater, 120 miles east of Dallas. Phillips, 75, was bound with tape, beaten and stabbed.

Canada, which abolished the death penalty in 1976, tried to stop the execution on the grounds that diplomatic protocol set by the Vienna Convention had been violated, since it learned of Faulder's case after he had been imprisoned for 15 years.


ORLANDO -- Jonathan Strawder, founder of Sovereign Ministries International, was ordered to repay $12 million he swindled from 2,200 church groups and individuals by telling them that profits from an investment scheme would build churches and educate the poor. He also was sentenced to five years in state prison, to be served concurrently with a five-year federal sentence he received last week.

MINNEAPOLIS -- Ramsey County District Judge Kathleen Gearin denied bail for Kathleen Ann Soliah, the long-sought member of the radical Symbionese Liberation Army accused of planting pipe bombs under police cars, because one of the charges against her carries a penalty of life in prison. Soliah, who authorities say started a new life in St. Paul, Minn., as Sara Jane Olson, has refused to waive her right to fight extradition to face the California charges that date to 1975.

NEW YORK -- A mysterious man who had been riding a New York subway train for hours before passengers discovered his corpse Monday has been identified as Ignacio Mendez, 37, an immigrant from Ecuador who lived in Brooklyn, police said. Newspaper reports said Mendez immigrated in 1989, leaving his 16-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son behind but sending money home to them when he could.