By James Pitkin
Wilamette Week | October 7, 2010
Scott Caplan, a Portland lawyer who was caught up in a scandal over flying terror suspects to secret prisons, died this week after suffering a heart attack. He was 49.
As reported in The Lake Oswego Review, Caplan was playing tennis Monday at the Lake Oswego Tennis Center when he collapsed from a heart attack. He died on Tuesday morning.
In 2007, WW reported on Caplan’s ties to the CIA’s so-called “extraordinary rendition” program flying terror suspects to countries that practice torture.
Caplan’s law practice in large part consisted of acting as a registered agent for companies. In 2003 he set up Bayard Foreign Marketing LLC, a company whose listed owner — Leonard T. Bayard — had no official history and didn’t appear to exist.
In 2004, days after reporters blew open the story of the CIA’s secret flights, Bayard bought one of the program’s busiest planes from a company in Dedham, Mass., that reporters determined was a CIA front. The tail number of the Gulfstream V executive jet was changed, but it continued to make flights to countries like Egypt and Iraq.
As reported in WW in 2007:
Caplan gave WW his first interview last week since retired political science professor Michael Munk filed the bar complaint against him Oct. 3. Caplan’s Portland attorney, Christopher Kent, arranged the meeting in his office last Friday but demanded there be no questions about Caplan’s mysterious client. Kent allowed no recording of the interview, and Caplan refused to be photographed.
We walked away from that interview convinced that Caplan had been duped by the CIA, and that he had no idea what he was getting into when he helped create the company.
Our condolences go out to his family.