These corporations and assets were formerly owned by renowned criminal Michael Thevis
In the beginning, there was Mike Thevis
It was 1974, and Thevis
was the country's biggest pornographer.
ran a smut empire that stretched from Times Square to Pasadena, Calif., all from his
offices on Peachtree Street.
was the kingpin for a booming peep-show machine business.
It was through his
porn distributions that he
became friendly with the Gambino crime family.
On the more legitimate side, Thevis owned General Recording Corporation
was sent to prison in 1976 for distribution of obscene material and ordering the arson of a competitor's business.
was in prison, the the indictments began piling up: tax evasion, racketeering, bombing, extortion, attempted murder of a government witness and the murder of another Atlanta pornographer, Kenneth "Jap" Hanna.
studio had been standing empty for months when Thevis'
former business associates ask Ginn
to come aboard, blow the dust off the speakers and make records.
Then, in April 1978, Thevis
broke out of prison and became one of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives.
was down on his luck, Thevis
was generating his own bad karma.
was arrested and while in a federal prison confessed to his
cellmate that he
commited the murders and was later convicted.
That same year, the RICO act, now famous in drug-dealer circles, gave the government the green light for confiscating anything that belonged to Thevis
that could be linked to his
The studio was seized and an IRS
team moved in to mark, catalog and trace the origins of everything in it.
Some recording were returned to their owners when it had been determined that they had only been made at the studio but weren't owned by Thevis or GRC
But 400 master tapes -heavy, cumbersome reels- were deemed the property of GRC
, which the IRS
and the FBI
already had determined to be supported by porn and racketeering money.
Finally, in 1981, the IRS
put everything Thevis
owned up for auction.
jewelry collection was sold at Christy's in New York.
Two houses in Sandy Springs and a rambling northwest Atlanta mansion were also auctioned.
The recording studio and its contents were sold on a hot, June afternoon at the Simpson Street property.
Unfortunately for Ginn
, a lot of songs and their rights were sold to different companies during the topsy-turvy time after Thevis'
first imprisonment, while his businesses were in the name of his secretary.
Global Industries Inc., in which the government determined that Thevis' sale of Global Industries to Fidelity Equipment Leasing Corp. (the company set up under the name of Thevis' secretary Laverne Bowden) was, according to court documents, "a sham contrived by Thevis and Bowden to hide the formers continued control and ownership of Global Industries Inc."
With that in mind Ginn filed a newly fashioned lawsuit against Thevis
and "co-conspirators" in May 1999 claiming he
was damaged by Thevis'
was swindled out of song rights, that he
suffered sleepless nights and heartache resulting from the machinations of the Thevis empire, which he
believes is still being run by former Thevis employees on the West Coast.
Last summer, Ginn's motion to transfer the case from the courtroom of Federal District Court Judge Willis B. Hunt to the courtroom of Judge Harold B. Murphy - because Murphy heard the original charges against Thevis
20 years ago - was denied.
The defendant, Thevis
( who did not respond to requests to be interviewed for this story), is after all, serving a life sentence, and then some) in Oak Park Heights Correctional Facility, a sprawling , entirely underground institution outside Minneapolis.