The Whispers Singer LeaVeil Degree Participated in $1.8M Jewelry Heist
*Fans of The Whispers may not know that member LeaVeil Degree once carried out a $1.8 million dollar heist.
According to the legal documents via I Love Old School Music:
When LeaVeil Degree was 31, he and his brother David, whom was 24 at the time, pleaded guilty in a $1.8 million stolen jewelry case after U.S. attorneys agreed to drop some of the most serious charges against them in their 17-count federal grand jury indictment. LeaVeil’s wife, Kimberly, whom was 24 at the time, pleaded guilty to a felony count of possession of stolen mail and then 19 year old Rochelle Florio, pleaded guilty to obstructing the mail, a misdemeanor charge.
About $800,000 of the stolen goods were retrieved.
Per the report, the legal docs go on to state:
In the plea bargaining, the Degree brothers told U.S. District Judge Irving Hill that they would cooperate in an attempt to recover the remaining $1 million in jewels and furs still missing. The million-dollar jewels and furs were never recovered.
David Degree also agreed to testify against Edna Delgardo, who was 25 at the time. In exchange, a conspiracy charge against LeaVeil Degree and theft charges against both brothers would be dropped. The federal indictment stated that Delgardo gave David Degree the key to her postal truck, which was parked in the Jewelry District of Los Angeles. It further charged that David drove the truck to LeaVeils’s home, where the two brothers unloaded the goods.
LeaVeil (now age 77) was facing a possible 15-year prison term.
The Whispers began performing together in 1963 as The Eden Trio, created by Nicholas Caldwell, Marcus Hutson, and Gordy Harmon. It was not long before they invited their friends, twin brothers Wallace “Scotty” and Walter Scott to join them. They adopted their current name from Lou Bedell of Dore Records.