The move to North Carolina
Taking his plan to the next level, Larry moved several of the young adults to North Carolina where they worked hours and hours trying to restore a dilapidated house. That was until Larry accused them of damaging his machinery and subsequently owing him hundreds of thousands of dollars, prosecutors said in court. Unable to repay Larry, the students turned to family and friends, telling them they had done something wrong and were in desperate need of help.
“They would become profit centers”, former FBI special agent Frank Figliuzzi said. “He made them empty their parents’ bank accounts – in some cases, their savings because they convinced their parents: ‘I did this kind of damage, I owe this guy this kind of money, I ‘I’m in big trouble.'”
Claudia’s forced sex work
However, not everyone’s parents were able to help ease their imaginary debt. This rang true for Claudia. While testifying in court, she turned to sex work after Larry convinced her it was the only way to pay him back. For four years in a row Claudia saw up to five clients a day and all the money went to Larry. Isabella, meanwhile, was Claudia’s “accountant of prostitution”, Figliuzzi said. Prosecutors would later describe her as Larry’s “trusted lieutenant”, and she was charged alongside him in 2021.
Theorizing about Isabella’s involvement, cult expert Dr. Janja Lalich said in the documentary, “Everyone in a cult becomes an author to some degree. In Isabella’s case, she kind of became Larry’s right-hand man.”