For Information on
CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION COVERUP 1
A reward of $100,000 is being offered by the Church of Scientology® for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individuals responsible for the coverup and protection of the perpetrators of an attempted $2 million fraud.
Information gathered to date by Church of Scientology investigators working under the supervision of Church attorney John Peterson includes the following:
In 1982, an attempt was made to pass a counterfeit check drawn on a Bank of New England account of L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the religion of Scientology. Bank officials reported the attempted forgery to the FBI and also hired their own private investigators.
The bank’s investigators consulted a lawyer named Michael Flynn for leads on the perpetrators of the crime. Flynn, an avowed enemy of the Church and Scientology’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard, accused Scientologists™ of committing the forgery.
As Church investigators later learned, within days after the unsuccessful attempt to pass the forged check, Flynn also discussed the incident with Glenn Prinsze, the New York FBI agent assigned to the case.
Prinsze later advised a bank official that “nothing much” was being done on the investigation.
The Church of Scientology, baffled by the FBI’s lack of interest in the matter and unaware at that time of Flynn’s involvement with the FBI in the investigation, hired its own team of private investigators, headed by Eugene Ingram, to conduct an independent investigation.
Ingram’s investigation lasted for more than a year and ranged from Boston to New York, on to Florida, back to Washington, D.C., and overseas to Italy, the United Arab Emirates and back to the U.S.
By June 1984, Ingram’s team had found what was believed to be the majority of individuals involved in the fraud and had obtained exhaustive documentation and corroborative affidavits and evidence.
The scheme began to unravel when two men signed full confessions detailing not only their own but also others’ involvement in the crime.
According to a sworn statement by a man well-known in Boston for similar scams, he was hired to coordinate the counterfeiting, forging and passing of the check. This man said the meeting was arranged by a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and Justice Department veteran.
To execute the scheme, the man hired to do the scam used his brother, who has also provided a witnessed confession. The brother tried to pass the phony Bank of New England check at the Middle East Bank in New York City. However, he panicked when asked for identification and fled the bank, leaving the check behind.
According to the two brothers, they fled the scene. Meanwhile, Flynn tried to turn the incident to his advantage by claiming that the Scientologists were behind the scheme.
Accusing the Scientologists also fit a plan that Flynn had created as early as 1979 to initiate a media and legal assault on the Church. Documents filed in court reveal that Flynn claimed that he had succeeded in involving individuals from federal agencies, including the IRS and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and that he planned to use government agencies in the assault on Scientology and its founder.
Despite the evidence that federal officials might be linked in a conspiracy, Church officials felt that the year-long investigation had produced enough evidence — especially witnessed confessions — to result in a grand jury.
They compiled the massive amount of documentation, including corroborative affidavits from others involved in the crime, and turned it over to the Assistant U.S. Attorney in Boston on July 11, 1984.
Seldom are federal prosecutors presented with such an array of already-prepared, documented evidence, in a case where the charges could involve the federal crimes of counterfeiting, forgery, obstruction of justice, concealing evidence, wire fraud, extortion, embezzlement, and interstate transportation of stolen goods, among others.
Oddly, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brackett Denniston III was not grateful for the evidence that had been provided to him.Before even studying the documentation, he questioned the motives of the people who had done the work.
Nevertheless, representatives of the Church of Scientology were determined to see that the crimes were fully investigated by the proper authorities, and therefore they continued meeting with Boston representatives of the Justice Department and the FBI.
The investigators received indications that a grand jury would be convened in the near future.
Then a strange thing happened.
A short time later, a man contacted Church investigators and, in a taped interview, incriminated himself in the check forgery plot.
The man, of Brookline, Massachusetts, claimed he was actually the mastermind behind the check scam, “and repeatedly alleged that Michael Flynn was not involved.
Church investigators were puzzled by this new, lone “confession.”
When they thoroughly investigated the man, they discovered that he was actually a federal informant who was awaiting sentencing for his third felony conviction at the time that he made his “confession.”
This turn of events reached bizarre proportions when, two weeks later, the man admitted to a reliable source that his “confession” had been a complete fabrication, and that he actually had no involvement in the $2 million check fraud at all!
It appears to Church investigators that the informant may have been counting on individuals in the government to recommend a light sentence, and may even have been persuaded to approach the Church investigators with his trumped-up confession in an attempt to throw the Scientologists off the trail.
Months after the exhaustive documentation had been provided to Assistant U.S. Attorney Denniston in Boston, Church investigators recontacted all of the substantiating witnesses and discovered that they had still not been officially interviewed.
Church investigators, in fact, were brusquely advised by an individual in the FBI Fraud Division to cease their investigation in Boston lest their actions be construed as “obstructing justice.”
Ironically, the reported government informant was recently given a reduced sentence of two years, although the law calls for up to 32 years in prison for the felonies he had committed prior to his false confession. Was this a reward for his attempt to throw Church investigators off the track?
When the informant was served with a subpoena by Church attorneys, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston refused to cooperate in producing him for questioning concerning his false confession.
Documentation indicating criminal activities on the part of several individuals, including sworn statements by a number of the participants in the alleged crime, has, mysteriously, not been sufficient to persuade the Justice Department to investigate these individuals, much less prosecute them.
Investigators for the Church of Scientology would like to know why officials of the Department of Justice do not want the mystery of the attempted $2 million check forgery to be resolved as soon as possible.
A reward of $100,000 is available for anyone with documented or readily documentable information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those guilty of what appears to be a criminal coverup of a felony.
Others are invited to come forward with any information they may have regarding similar instances of unequal protection ,under the law on the part of individuals within the Department of Justice or other government agencies.
Identities will be protected upon request.
Direct all communication to:
Eugene M. Ingram, Private Investigator
Ingram Investigations, California License #AA9387
4343 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90029
(Collect calls will be accepted.)
Church of Scientology® of California
1985 Church of Scientology of California. Scientology and Scientologist are trademarks owned by the Religious Technology Center and are used with its permission.
A private investigator, acting on behalf of a West Coast law firm that represents the Church of Scientology, placed a full-page advertisement that appeared yesterday in The Boston Globe offering a $100,000 reward for information about a $2-million counterfeit check.
The ad seeks information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever forged and attempted to pass the check drawn on an E. F. Hutton Cash Reserve Management Account at the Bank of New England.
The incident dates back to June 7, 1982, according to the ad, when a man using the name Abdulamiar tried to open an account with the check at the Middle East Bank of New York City.
Eugene M. Ingram of Los Angeles, the private investigator who signed the ad, declined to say whose account the forged check was drawn on because, he said, he wants to screen out crank telephone callers by asking for the name of the account.
Sources say the account belonged to L. Ron Hubbard, who founded the controversial Church of Scientology in the late 1940s and who has not been seen in public since 1976.
David Aden, a vice president with the church in Boston, said he had no knowledge of the ad before reading it in The Globe yesterday. “I have no record of this thing,” he said.
Ingram said the check was counterfeit, copied from a legitimate check which passed through the Hutton section in the Bank of New England on March 11, 1982. In the ad, Ingram contended that “efforts to obtain relevant information” from the bank have been futile.
Questions were immediately raised about the check, Bank of New England spokeswoman Denise Lane said, and it was not honored. The owner of the account did not lose any money, she said, and the man known as Abdulamiar never returned to the Middle East Bank.
Lane said the bank has cooperated fully with an FBI investigation and also conducted an internal investigation, “which reached no definite conclusion.” She added that the bank rejected Ingram’s request to make staff available for questioning.
The genuine check was first processed through the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston without incident, said assistant general counsel John Kimball. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston conducted an internal investigation that absolved the bank of any wrongdoing, Ingram said.
“Then the check was processed through the Bank of New England. That was the check the suspects used as a master,” Ingram said.
Lane said, however, that several other scenarios are possible. “It has not at all been determined that (what Ingram has charged) was the case,” she said. The bank processes about 600,000 checks daily, Lane said.
Ingram said a former Bank of New England employee identified a photograph of a person who did not work for the bank but who was in the bank’s check- processing section several times. Ingram said he has has an affadavit to back up his accusations, but that the person in question has refused to cooperate with the investigation.
“Someone stole an original check. That’s pretty serious,” Ingram said. “We’re talking a huge check here.”
FBI special agent Glen Prinsze in New York confirmed that the agency is conducting an investigation based on interstate transportation of stolen property. He declined to comment further while the investigation is in progress.
Ingram also approached the District Attorney’s office in Boston, said spokesman David M. Rodman. The office declined to cooperate, but felt Ingram’s “investigation should continue and we told him if he has any other information to get back to us,” Rodman said.
Alan G. Brower, Hutton senior vice president and deputy general counsel, said the securities firm “considers this a dead issue as far as we’re concerned.” He said Hutton cooperated with law enforcement authorities, but did not know whether the securities firm had held an internal investigation. Ingram said Hutton cooperated with his investigation earlier.
The ad in The Globe cost about $14,000. A quarter-page version of the ad will run through Friday, Ingram said.