U.S. Neo-Nazi Financier Sought in Dublin

The FBI believes that a key financier of American neo-Nazi groups who has been on the run from U.S. authorities for four years is hiding in Ireland.

Vincent Bertollini, who made a fortune in Silicon Valley during the boom of the 1990s, failed to appear for a pre-trial hearing to face drunken driving charges in Sandpoint, Idaho, in 2001. He had been convicted of drunken driving twice in 1998, and a third conviction within five years would be a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. An arrest warrant for Bertollini was issued in July 2001.

Bertollini and fellow Silicon Valley entrepreneur Carl E. Story moved to Idaho in 1995 and immediately developed ties to the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations and America's Promise Ministries, both promoters of the anti-Semitic Christian Identity religion. They created their own tiny neo-Nazi organization, the 11th Hour Remnant Messenger, and boasted of spending more than $1.5 million on their cause.

Bertollini was particularly close to Aryan Nations leader Richard Butler, at one point mailing out thousands of copies of a videotaped interview with Butler to almost every resident of an entire northern Idaho zip code. When Butler lost his Idaho compound in a 2000 civil suit brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Bertollini helped Butler to purchase a new house in nearby Hayden.

Butler died in September 2004, leaving an unpaid balance of $91,486 on his home. In August 2005, the mortgage holder decided to put the house up for auction because no one was keeping up the payments. That apparently renewed the interest of the FBI in Bertollini. The following month, FBI officials told reporters that they had found that Bertollini was having mail forwarded to Dublin, Ireland.

"He just disappeared," FBI supervisor Norm Brown told The Irish Times, "but with the forwarding address, it looks like Ireland is our best chance."