Supposed scammer’s schoolmates surface

What’s in a name?
When the Review reported last week on the federal charges facing Alison Ann Heruth, an Oakdale woman allegedly wrapped up in a $5.5 million swindle of Hollywood investors’ money, very little was known about the actress’s ties to the town in which she was arrested Feb. 17.
In fact, with the help of some very obliging staffers in the front office at Tartan High School, Principal John Bezek called to say that there was no record of Heruth ever attending or graduating from the Oakdale school in the yearbooks dated around the time she would have done so.
But thanks to a few attentive readers, the Review has since learned otherwise.
At press time, three separate subscribers had called in to set the record straight on Heruth’s Oakdale roots. According to the anonymous callers, one male and two female, the 41-year-old not only graduated from Tartan in 1983, to their recollection, she also grew up in Oakdale.
As it turns out, the diligent Tartan employees who spent the better part of a morning last week scanning yearbooks with no indexes from 1981 through ‘85 might have had more success if they had been searching for a name somewhat lower in the alphabet. Back then, Alison Heruth was Alison Waterbury, a surname that she later used as Alison Heruth-Waterbury for her sole screen credit on the 2001 Croatian-language film “Posljednja volja” (“The Last Will”), also starring Goran Visnjic from TV’s “E.R.”
“She was pretty popular,” a former male friend of hers said of the budding actress in high school. “She just looked good.”
The man said he had “run into” Heruth a number of times after she graduated from Tartan in 1983, though spotting her photo in the newspaper was the first he had seen of her in quite some time.
“The last time was about 10 years ago,” said the caller, who wished to remain anonymous. “She was waitressing at the Red Lobster in Maplewood. ... I haven’t seen her since.”
At some point, Heruth moved from Oakdale to Los Angeles, where she presumably met producer Joseph Medawar, the man FBI officials have charged with lying to over 70 different investors whose backing he had successfully garnered for a proposed television show called “DHS: The Series.” Heruth was slated to star in and help produce the show, which was described as a look inside the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Medawar claimed that the new program had the support of President George W. Bush and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s anti-terrorism office, and that 26 episodes had already been filmed.
It now appears that the “DHS” assertions were all false. The indictment against Medawar charges the producer with 34 counts of various fraud and refutes his claims that his production company, Steeple Entertainment, was worth upwards of $200 million. Initially, it appeared that Heruth had been a victim in the scam as well, but as of Feb. 17, she has been charged with failing to report or stop a felony and making false statements to the FBI and the IRS (Oakdale police assisted the FBI with her arrest early that morning).
On the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com), an actor named Kyle Heruth is also listed as starring in “The Last Will” and the Croatian film is his only screen credit as well. There is no further evidence at this time, however, to suggest that Alison Waterbury changed her name to Heruth because of a marriage to this actor. At least, no readers have come forth with that information yet.
Two other female callers, neither of which provided their full name (though one identified herself as Valerie in a voice-mail message), said they had known Alison Waterbury from their days at Tartan in the early ‘80s. Both women noted that Heruth had lived across from Oakdale Elementary near the corner of Tenth Street and Glenbrook Avenue.
“She was always tall and beautiful,” one woman said. “I recognized her right away (from the photo in last week’s Review).”
Heruth’s - or rather, Waterbury’s - senior picture in the 1983 Tartan yearbook has only her name printed next to it and she does not appear to have participated in any school athletics or extracurricular organizations, including the school plays. But the troubled actress, whose Los Angeles hearing was scheduled for March 6, has not been forgotten by at least a few former classmates, one of whom also counts himself as a fan.
“I liked her,” the anonymous male caller said. “I hope nothing happens to her, to be honest.”

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