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Terry Goddard Announces Nearly $2 Million in Racketeering Forfeitures

(Phoenix, Ariz. – July 30, 2008) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced that a Maricopa County jury has found against John A. LaVoie, 52, of Tucson, on racketeering charges connected with his prostitution business and ordered him to pay the state close to $2 million in civil forfeitures.

The forfeitures include $850,000 in racketeering proceeds and $81,000 in cash seized when search warrants were executed. The jury also ordered LaVoie to forfeit an office building worth between $750,000 and $1 million.

LaVoie operated Angel's Heaven, a massage/prostitution business, out of his Tucson office building between January 2001 and September 2004. According to court records, LaVoie asserted that he is the minister of the Church of Liberty, a church he founded.

LaVoie claimed that Angel’s Heaven was the outreach arm of the Church of Liberty. He further claimed that customers of Angel’s Heaven were not charged for their sessions but rather made donations in amounts of their choosing to LaVoie and the women working for him.

After a three-week civil trial, the jury found against LaVoie on all 22 counts of racketeering alleged by the state. The forfeited assets will be split between the Tucson Police Department, to cover its investigation costs, and the state’s Anti-Racketeering Revolving Fund.

This case was investigated by the Tucson Police Department and was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Alex Mahon.

For more information, please contact Anne Hilby at (602) 542-8019.