I found Maria Pia Gardini's statement...
Maria Pia: Right. So, conference call…I couldn't say to Franco Badjo, "Say you don't have the money." Because Tito Matsa was there and he was understanding Italian. At that point, I was a bit afraid because they had my passport and I thought I'd never get out of there.
Stacy: What do you mean, they had your passport?
Maria Pia: They asked me for my passport because they said to give the passport to OSA to have the green card. I knew that I couldn't have the green card.
Stacy: To give it to OSA?
Maria Pia: Yeah. I went to OSA 20 times. Nobody was looking for my passport. "It's not here. It's in the other drawer."
Stacy: They wouldn't give it to you?
Maria Pia: At that point, I started to be afraid. I said, "They have my passport." Tito Matsa understands Italian. If I said to Franco Badjo, "Don't give the money," I will never get out of here. But I had the force to say, "Franco, if you want to, give them the money. But I am afraid I don't know how much taxes I have to pay." Okay, talk to communication, the Captain of Flag went-Debbie Cook-went out of the room. She was called for a phone call.
Stacy: I can imagine.
Maria Pia: And Dave Foster started to yell at me! I was becoming a couple of centimeters shorter every time he opened his mouth! He was yelling at me! And I was saying, "No, that's…
Stacy: What was he saying to you?
Maria Pia: "You are not a good Scientologist. You are a bitch! That's not the way to act in life. Your properties are Scientology properties. I said, "Why? My parents are working their whole life to make that property." "No, you have to give that. You don't want to help your country. You don't know how to help Italy. You are a bitch!" He told me that I was a bitch, like, ten times! At the end, I said, "No. I don't want to." He slapped me…
Stacy: He slapped you?
Maria Pia: Yeah, on the face. And that was the moment I went in terror. I said, "I will never get out alive from here!"
Stacy: I can't believe it!
Maria Pia: You know, there was already two deaths in that Fort Harrison. Two public that died and it wasn't well known if they really died or what. I thought, "Here, I don't go home. I will not ever see my granddaughter." Debbie Cooke came in again. She made it…purposely, she left me with David Foster alone.
Stacy: She did, didn't she?
Maria Pia: Yeah. I had tears in my eyes. I told to David Foster, "If you move one finger again, I will go to the police!" But I was afraid. I was shaking. Really, Stacy, I was shaking! So, they called Franco Badjo again, another conference call, I said, "But in one month…" He understood that I was in big problem. So, he said, "In one month, I need the money. You have to come to Italy and give me the money." I said, "Okay. Frank. We will meet you." And that was $200,000! So, it started to become very heavy, the cycle, you know? I had money sent to me from Italy every month from my bank-the income from the stores, the income. So, every week was $5,000. It was on and on and on. At a certain point…
Stacy: You mean, every week after that you were having to give them more money?
Maria Pia: Yeah. $5,000.
Stacy: So, they were calling you in every week?
Maria Pia: Yeah, every week.
Stacy: And saying you have to give more money.
Maria Pia: Every week! Every night! Twice a week. That was continuous. I had peace only when I was in my apartment. You know why? Because I took off the phone. I wasn't answering the doorbell. So, I said, "bye bye." I turned on the TV and that's it.
Stacy: Why weren't you trying to leave and go back to Italy?
Maria Pia: Without the passport?
Stacy: So, you couldn't get your passport back?
Maria Pia: I wouldn't get out from the company without the passport.
Stacy: But you had to arrange some reason for them to give you your passport back?
Maria Pia: Yeah. I was looking for a…so, I called Franco Badjo twice. I said, "Franco. You told me you need the money in one month. So, you must call your Registrar and say to send me to Italy because I cannot give you back your money if I don't come to Italy." They called me another time and that time was really terrible. They knew that the land had been sold and they knew that the land has been paid. And they knew I had the money in the bank in Italy.
Stacy: How could they know?
Maria Pia: A good Italian private investigator can know everything you want. So, at that point, I was called again. And I was told clearly, "You have the money in the bank. Now, you can transfer the money." I said, "How can I transfer the money without going down there and signing?" Another conference call was with the director of my bank.
Maria Pia: And in the room with us, there was Cozima.
Stacy: Cozima is an Italian woman at Flag. Is that right?
Maria Pia: Yes. She was at that time the Staff MA.
Stacy: She was an ethics officer at Flag?
Maria Pia: No, at that time, she was a public ethics officer. I don't remember who was there. I remember the Captain…
Stacy: Debbie Cooke.
Maria Pia: Debbie Cooke, I remember Dave Foster in the room. He went in and out. There were other people. I don't remember who. There was an Italian…that, I am sure. The director of the bank said, "Okay. Mrs. Gardini, if you send me a fax with a copy of your document," like, "a passport and sign it, I can send you the money." They wanted $500,000.
Stacy: The Scientologists did?
Maria Pia: Yeah, the Scientologists. I said, "I don't have any documents. I don't have any papers. My passport is at OSA." I said. In three seconds, the passport that was missing for weeks, in three seconds, the passport has feet and arrives from OSA to Flag! That was wonderful. (interviewer laughs) So, we made a photocopy of the passport.
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