The Move to North Carolina
Taking his scheme to the next level, Larry relocated several of the young adults to North Carolina where they worked hours upon hours trying to restore a decrepit house. That was, until Larry accused them of damaging his machinery and owing him hundreds of dollars, prosecutors stated in court. Unable to pay Larry back, the students turned to their family and friends, telling them they had done something wrong and desperately needed help.
“They’d become profit centers,” former FBI special agent Frank Figliuzzi said. “He has them drain the bank accounts of their parents—in some cases, their life savings because they convinced their parents, ‘I have done this kind of damage, I owe this guy this kind of money, I’m in big trouble. ‘”
Claudia’s Forced Sex Work
Not everybody’s parents were able to help them alleviate their imaginary debt, though. This rang true for Claudia. As she testified in court, she turned to sex work after Larry convinced her that was the only way she could pay him back. For four years straight, Claudia saw up to five clients a day—and all of the money went to Larry. Isabella, meanwhile, was the “bookkeeper for Claudia’s prostitution,” Figliuzzi said. Prosecutors would later describe her as Larry’s “trusted lieutenant,” and she was indicted alongside him in 2021.
Theorizing about Isabella’s involvement, cult expert Dr. Janja Lalich said in the documentary, “Everyone in a cult to some degree becomes a perpetrator. In Isabella’s case, she sort of become the right hand person to Larry.”