Father of Boy Accused as Bank Robber Charged With Extortion
The father of a 16-year-old Tarzana boy charged with robbing two San Fernando Valley banks was himself charged Thursday with one count each of extortion and cocaine possession, and three counts of loansharking, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said.
Allan Eugene Morrison, 50, owner of Wildcat Enterprises, a pornographic bookstore in Lennox, pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday in Los Angeles Municipal Court.
Municipal Court Judge Elva Sopa set Morrison’s preliminary hearing for Aug. 19. He remains free on $2000 bail.
Morrison was arrested May 31 at his luxurious Tarzana home hours after he allegedly threatened to kill businessman Gary Brown, owner of a Tarzana video equipment company.
$1,500 at Issue
Morrison made the threat after Brown refused to pay him $1,500 on a $3,500 loan on which Brown claimed he had already paid more than $7,200, Deputy District Attorney Diane Vezzani said.
Two other counts allege that Morrison committed loan-sharking by charging interest rates of more than 200% to Jeff Kiesel and Mark Morze, co-owners of the Galleria Fitness Center in the Sherman Oaks Galleria. The loans to the two men came to the attention of investigators during a search of Morrison’s home, car and business after his arrest, Vezzani said.
The final count stems from a gram of cocaine found during a search of Morrison’s Lennox office, she said.
Morrison’s son, Michael Scott Morrison, was arrested the day before his father and is charged with six felony counts of armed bank robbery, three counts of robbery and one count of illegal possession of a tear gas canister.
Father-Son Link Unknown
Vezzani said there is no known connection between the accusations against Morrison and his son, Michael, a Taft High School student. A juvenile court judge is scheduled to decide Monday whether Michael Morrison will be tried as an adult.
Allan Morrison’s attorney, Roger Jon Diamond, called the charges “ridiculous.” He said they were part of a district attorney campaign to shut down Morrison’s adult bookstore.
Diamond said prosecutors have filed misdemeanor obscenity charges against the bookstore in the past “countless times.”
“And they’ve all met with failure,” he said.
Alerted by Complaints
Vezzani said the case against the elder Morrison, who more than 20 years ago served a prison sentence for bank robbery, was brought to the attention of authorities when Brown complained to police about the threats related to his loan. Police then attached a microphone to Brown and recorded a Sept. 28, 1984 meeting between the two men at Morrison’s bookstore, she said.
Reading from a transcript of the tape, Vezzani quoted Morrison as telling Brown: “Get a pistol. I’ll get you a pistol to rob somebody . . . I’m not a benevolent human being. “
Although Brown did not pay Morrison any money after the Sept. 28 meeting, he did not receive another call until early May, Vezzani said. Morrison then left a telephone message and sent two men a few days later to collect an unspecified sum from Brown, the prosecutor said.
The investigation is continuing but no other arrests are expected, Vezzani said.