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FBI File
Herman Milton Greenspun
aka "Hank," "Green," "Greeney"

"...Greenspun informed that he and his associate were negotiating for a newspaper in Las Vegas or Reno, Nevada, and that if they got a newspaper they would be powerful in the State of Nevada" Seth Solomon Pope

"If hostilities should break out again in the Middle East, the FBI had better watch me far closer than they did in 1948 and 1949 because emotionalism sometimes overcomes good judgment." Hank Greenspun

"This rascal should never get a full pardon." FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover

"...a hero of our country and a fighter for freedom - a man of great spirit who fought with his mind and his soul; a man of great conviction and commitment." Shimon Peres

Documents

Hank Greenspun (1909-1989) worked as a publicity agent for gangster "Bugsy" Siegel until Siegel's murder in 1947. Greenspun illegally shipped 50 caliber machine guns stolen from the U.S. Navy in Hawaii via Mexico to Jewish fighters in Palestine. Greenspun was apprehended attempting to illegally ship surplus combat airplane engines to Haganah fighters in Palestine and was convicted of violating the Neutrality Act and fined $10,000 in 1950.  In 1950 Greenspun purchased the Las Vegas Review-Journal and renamed it the Las Vegas Sun.

In 1952 the FBI investigated Greenspun's attempt to pay a General Services Administration official "or anyone else" $25,000 to "quash" a second Neutrality Act indictment for smuggling arms to Jewish fighters in Palestine. The FBI files reveal Greenspun's public battles with Senator Joseph McCarthy, FBI Director John Edgar Hoover and Senator Pat McCarren.  Greenspun wrote in his "Where I Stand" column on 25th October, 1952 that, "It is common talk among homosexuals in Milwaukee who rendezvous in the White Horse Inn that Senator Joe McCarthy has often engaged in homosexual activities."  FBI files detail Greenspun settling libel suits and prevailing in Sherman Antitrust Act litigation over an attempt to pressure casino owners to withhold advertising and drive the Las Vegas Sun newspaper out of business.

President John F. Kennedy pardoned Greenspun  in 1961.

FBI PDF Files with OCR (File size)

Low Bandwidth
Version (recommended)

Contents

1192017-000 --- HQ 62-97007 --- Section 1 (1109078)

157.7 MB

18.6 MB 1952 accounting report of Greenspun's net worth reaching $517,000.  Report on the Foundry Associates - Jewish Agency arms smuggling operation.  Attempted political intervention in smuggling case by lobbyist (probably Abraham Feinberg). Greenspun's military record and absent without leave punishment. Greenspun explains to the FBI how he came to know and work for gangster Bugsy Siegel, and compiles a list of mob associates. Greenspun's Sherman Antitrust Act suit against Senator Patrick McCarran over coordinated cancellation of advertising in the Las Vegas Sun by top casinos. Judge's order that casinos restore their advertising to the Sun. FBI requests for a tax record investigations of Greenspun.
1192017-000 --- HQ 62-97007 --- Section 2 (1109079)

104.8 MB

12.1 MB In 1952 the FBI investigates Herman Greenspun's offer of $25,000 to Seth Solomon Pope "of the General Services Administration "or anyone designated by Pope" to "quash" a second Neutrality Act indictment in the State of California. Although the FBI learns Pope worked in the War Assets Administration in Hawaii (where he diverted machine guns) and had been investigated for fraudulent sales of war materiel on three occasions, the Justice Department orders the investigation shut down.

FBI follows Greenspun's $1 million Sherman Act lawsuit against Senator Patrick McCarran over his alleged role in asking casinos to stop advertising in Greenspun's Las Vegas Sun newspaper.

FBI furnishes the Bureau of Internal Revenue with information on Greenspun, allegations he maintained two separate sets of accounting books.

1192017 --- HQ 62-97007 --- Section 3 (1109080)

98.9 MB

10.0 MB Information on a 1953 libel suit filed by City Commissioner William Peccole against Greenspun, background information, gun running, mob associates, a request by Senator Joseph McCarthy for FBI files on Greenspun, record that Greenspun was "after" Senator McCarthy and that the FBI director was "next."  McCarthy attempt to get Greenspun's second-class mail privilege revoked, rap sheet of Greenspun's Neutrality Act conviction in 1950, 1954 note that a friend of Greenspun had contacted the Pardon Attorney about the status of an application which was denied, 1954 FBI report that Greenspun offered to finance half the costs of a shopping center in exchange for 50% stock shares..  Informant report of Greenspun editorial in October 21, 1954 stating "If hostilities should break out again in the Middle East, the FBI had better watch me far closer than they did in 1948 and 1949 because emotionalism sometimes overcomes good judgment."  Report: "a number of people in Las Vegas think that something should be done with respect to Greenspun before he gains more control of the state than he already has...many persons of good reputation hesitate to consider public office because of the vitriolic comments Greenspun is known to make." 1956 FCC character inquiry to FBI during pending transfer of KLAS-TV station to Greenspun. "Hearings by FCC can be expected with Greenspun utilizing any technique available to divert attention from his shortcomings..." January 17, 1956, FBI considers whether to "cover" Greenspun speeches to the United Jewish Appeal in Arizona, FBI decision not to acknowledge a laudatory Las Vegas Sun article because of the "unsavory background of Greenspun." Notation that despite Greenspun file being "bulky," "in view of controversial nature of Greenspun and recurrent publicity concerning his activities, all available matter should be maintained for the present..." "This rascal should never get a full pardon." FBI Director Hoover - 1953.  FBI begins to respond to Greenspun requests for articles to publish in the Sun.  "Although Greenspun and his newspaper were more frequently our detractors rather than our supporters, this situation has changed in recent years..." 1972 report of a plot by E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy to break into offices of the Las Vegas Sun to obtain files on Howard Hughes.
1192017-000 --- 9-26006 --- Section 1 (1108967).pdf

4.8 MB

1 MB 1954 investigation of a threatening postcard send to Greenspun from New York.
1192017-000 --- 69-680 --- Section 1 (1108960).pdf

50.4 MB

6.3 MB Greenspun investigated in spring of 1955 for contempt of court after acquittal on charges to "incite the assassination of Senator [Joseph] McCarthy."  FBI reviews Greenspun's column "Where I stand" and press releases about his own trial but closes investigation on June 23, 1955.
1192017-000 --- 2-1004-317 --- Section 1 (1108939)

6.7 MB

1 MB In 1956 the Chairman of the FCC contacts the FBI for information about Greenspun.   The FBI confirmed Greenspun had been indicted alongside Al Schwimmer, Ray Selk and others involved with Service Airways and Foundry Associates to violate U.S. neutrality laws.  The FBI reported that a juror, and single voter against conviction, had been contacted by the defendants during the trial.  Details of Greenspun's taking hostage of a yacht owner to smuggle stolen machine guns, which were never recovered.. Details of plea bargain.  Reports that Greenspun received three payments totaling $1.3 million from Dr. Erwin Hayman of Geneva via Banco del Ahorro in Mexico. Reports that Greenspun received a 10% "kickback" on all illegal arms deals.  Report that Greenspun and "immediate followers" had become discredited for ties with Irgun terrorists.

Report that Greenspun was not admitted to New York Bar Association over "irregularities" during exam, but allowed to retake by a Judge where Greenspun subsequently clerked.

Report that by 1952 Greenspun was operating the "Los Vegas Morning Sun" by 1952 as the apparent sole owner.  Informant reports of Greenspun's partnership with "underworld" figures Morris Kleinman and Joe Dalitz in operating the Desert Inn.

Report of "high political influence" to quash parallel prosecution of Foundry Associates members in Miami.  Greenspun's net worth included the Sun ($160,000), Desert Inn Annex motel  ($250,000), the Desert Inn ($40,000). Although Greenspun was losing $2,000 per month on the newspaper, "he is also supposed to be getting occasional hand-outs from 'angels' or friends who became ingratiated to him by his arms running activities..."  The FBI reports "attempts have been made to buy the newspaper, but all indications are that Greenspun won't sell and that money is not his object."

1192017-000 --- 92-3244 --- Section 1 (1108973)

58 MB

5.2 MB 1958 - FBI begins filing periodic reports on Greenspun as part of its "Top Hoodlum Program". Covers Greenspun loss of libel suits, discharge on charges of blackmail, and ongoing mob associations. 
1192017-000 --- 51-417 --- Section 1 (1108944)

34.7 MB

2.9 MB Jury panel investigation ordered in 1955 by Assistant Attorney General Warren Olney III for the case of United States vs. Herman M Greenspun.
1192017-000 --- HQ 62-99801 serial 29 --- Section 1 (1109083)

4.2 MB

.4 MB December 11, 1970.  Greenspun contacts the FBI and corroborates a story of Howard Hughes being forcibly transported from a Las Vegas hotel during an internal battle for corporate control.
1192017-000 --- HQ 63-5327 serial 3970 --- Section 1 (1109087)

.6 MB

.4 MB April 17, 1973 informant report that James R. Hoffa* attended a meeting of casino owners organized by Hank Greenspun and Jay Sarno, president of Caesars Palace Hotel.  Hoffa raised funds for his prison reform organization and announced plans for regaining control of the Teamsters union by sabotaging then- president Frank Fitzsimmons.  "Hoffa stated that he was surprised at the small turnout of individuals at this meeting because he stated there were a lot more than 20 people in Las Vegas who owed him favors..."

Greenspun, Sarno and Hoffa propose having an Israel bond rally in Las Vegas in honor of Hoffa in direct competition with a Washington event in honor of Fitzsimmons.  "This way, many of the purchasers who would normally purchase Israel bonds at the Fitzsimmons rally would have possible contributed and purchased bonds at the Hoffa rally cutting down on the importance of the rally in honor of Fitzsimmons." 

* Hoffa disappeared in 1975 and was declared legally dead in 1982.

1192014-000 --- HQ 105-212471 serial 78 --- Section 3 (1108980)

1.4 MB

.2 MB July 19, 1973 FBI report on Jewish Defense League's efforts to contact Hank Greenspun, and JDL connections to the mob.
1192017-000 --- HQ 139-4089 serial 2598 page 32 --- Section 42 (1109019)

5.9 MB

.6 MB FBI files on the burglary of the Democratic National Convention HQ in Washington DC (Watergate complex) detail another possible burglary of Greenspun's safe at the Las Vegas Sun.  Frank William Gay, EVP of Summa Corporation (Formerly Hughes Tool Co.) details how he was contacted by E. Howard Hunt and another individual to give funds for the reelection of President Nixon, and that Hunt would "go into the Greenspun's safe" and take "papers and documents that were of interest to the Committee to Re-Elect the President and other documents related to Howard Hughes.
11192017-000 --- LV 183B-65-515 serial 49, 83 --- Section 1 (1109089)

.5 MB

.2 MB FBI interview of Hank Greenspun in 1975 as a witness in the investigation into the San Diego gangland-style hit on Tamara Rand.  Greenspun mentions work as Western Director of the Bonds for Israel drive and related contacts with Rand's husband.
1192017-000 --- SA 89B-250 serial 15833 --- Section 1 (1109093)

1 MB

.1 MB 1981 memo FBI Special Agent in Charge about grand jury subpoenas.
1192017-000 --- HQ 211-26, serials 780 , 801 --- Section 10 (1109042)

.4 MB

.4 MB During Iran-Contra investigations in 1987 the Office of Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh contacted the FBI for information about Herman M. Greenspun and other known "arms dealers.". 
1192017-000 --- SC 100A-8101-E serial 558 --- Section 1 (111120)

1.3 MB

.3 MB 1990 FBI report on Hank Greenspun articles in support of a male and two females who in 1987 "liberate" goats owned by the University of Las Vegas.
1192017-000 --- LV 56-0-ASSESS serial 1 page 2 --- Section 1 (1109092).pdf

1.7 MB

.3 MB 2009 criminal complaint filing linked to former Governor Michael O'Callaghan and Hank Greenspun's ownership of the HBC News and shares held by the Las Vegas Sun.

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