Webs Of Corruption

The “lurid” tale of Franklin, to borrow an adjective from the New York Times in 1988, begins with Larry King. Not the CNN talk show host, but Lawrence King, Jr. of Omaha, who sang the national anthem at the 1984 Republican convention in Dallas, and throughout the '80s was described as a “GOP high-roller” and “the fastest rising African-American star” in the Republican Party.

Tall and corpulent, King had a fondness for flowers, fine tailored suits, expensive cars, mansions, chartered jets, and glistening jewelry. He had a hand in an array of businesses, but his day job was general manager of the Franklin Federal Credit Union, created to provide loans for Omaha’s underserved black community.

On November 4, 1988, federal agents descended on the Franklin Credit Union; the National Credit Union Administration would ultimately conclude that $39.4 million had been stolen. King was indicted on 40 counts, which included conspiracy, fraud, and embezzlement. Current Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, then chairman of the Equal Opportunity Commission, described King as a “friendly person,” and said his legal travails were “unfortunate."

Larry King had been dogged by accusations of pedophilia for a number of years. Among the first accusers was Eulice Washington, who claimed King flew her to out-of-state pedophilic orgies. She had been adopted by relatives of King’s in the 1970s. Her new “mother” was King’s cousin Barbara Webb, and her new “father” was husband Jarrett Webb, who sat on the board of the Franklin Federal Credit Union. To Eulice Washington, King had been “Uncle Larry.” “Larry King set up the pedophile ring,” says Eulice. “From my knowledge and from what I saw go down, he was the man who got it moving and rolling. Everything went through him. … He loves boys. He loves them like he shouldn’t.” Eulice | Clip 1

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