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Sect says Flynn involved with phony check

Title: Sect says Flynn involved with phony check
Date: Wednesday, 25 July 1984
Publisher: Clearwater Sun (Florida)
Main source: link (87 KiB)

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LOS ANGELES (AP)—Church of Scientology officials are accusing a Boston lawyer of conspiring to pass a counterfeit $2 million check "to divert attention from himself."

Michael Flynn, a prominent critic of the Church of Scientology who has filed 20 suits against the organization, also was accused of blaming the forgery on Scientologists in an attempt to destroy the controversial group.

The allegations regarding the check on the account of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard surfaced Monday in documents filed in Los Angeles federal court in connection with a lawsuit brought by a Scientology member, Steve Miller. That suit accuses Flynn's brother, Kevin Flynn, of kidnapping Miller three years ago to "deprogram" him.

Michael Flynn denied the charge, calling it a "typical" Scientology tactic to discredit critics of the organization.

"There is not an ounce of truth in this story," said Flynn, reached in Boston by The Los Angeles Times. "This is a conspiracy to frame me. I'm going to file a criminal complaint against them for this. Somebody is going to pay."

Last week, Flynn's brother renewed claims that "Scientology insiders" with access to Hubbard's personal financial records allegedly committed the forgery.

The Rev. Reber C. Jentzsch, president of the Church of Scientology International, said a two-year investigation into the forgery attempt prompted the accusation against Michael Flynn.

"This type of accusation constitutes, a classic example of the criminal accusing others of his own crime to divert attention from himself," said the affidavit by Los Angeles attorney Donald C. Randolph, who is representing Miller.

"In essence, attorney Michael Flynn orchestrated a conspiracy to break the law, then utilized the thwarted attempt as false evidence in subsequent court proceedings," Randolph wrote.

In court cases against the Church of Scientology, there have been suggestions the counterfeit attempt exposed a plan by Scientology officials to "loot" Hubbard's personal bank accounts. The reclusive Hubbard has not been seen in public since 1980.

The Church of Scientology's investigation into Flynn's activities focused on the testimony of two men who said they had conspired with Flynn to pass the counterfeit check, Randolph said.

One man is Ala Fadili Al Tamimi, a former resident of Boston who is in jail in Italy awaiting extradition to the United States in connection with another fraud case. The other is Tamimi's brother, Akil, a resident of Sharjeh in the United Arab Emirates.

In a declaration cited in the court records, Tamimi alleged he met with Flynn in early 1982 and was promised $400,000 to pass the check. Akil was used to try to cash the counterfeit check in early 1982 at the Middle East Bank in New York, the declaration said.

Suspicious bank officials questioned the check and it was not cashed.

The deprogramming case involving Flynn's brother is in an early stage, and no trial date has been set.