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Kattar jailed; prosecution says it fears for witnesses

Title: Kattar jailed; prosecution says it fears for witnesses
Date: Thursday, 29 May 1986
Publisher: Lawrence-Eagle-Tribune
Main source: link (323 KiB)

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BOSTON — George Kattar and Harvey Brower arrived in court together and sat side by side, but only Brower left the courtroom a free man after their arraignments yesterday.

Kattar was led away by U.S. marshals and jailed after prosecutors said he threatened to kill a witness.

The 67-year-old retired Methuen businessman was refused bail by U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Cohen.

Brower, 49, of Swampscott, was released without bail.

Kattar and Brower pleaded innocent in US. District Court to charges of fraud and extortion in connection with a scheme to take money away from the Church of Scientology by providing false information to the church.

"Mr. Kattar had threatened to kill a cooperating witness in this case and he had discussed killing a witness in another matter. ... and he discussed other killings," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Brackett B. Denniston, who prosecuted the case.

Denniston also cited a raid by FBI agents three and a half weeks ago on Kattar's summer home in Meredith, N.H., during which some 100 semi-automatic firearms, explosives and other weapons were confiscated.

Kattar is now in the custody of U.S. marshals pending his detention hearing in Boston at 11 tomorrow morning.

Early yesterday morning, Kattar and Brower were arrested by FBI agents and charged with trying to defraud the Church of Scientology of $100,000. Kattar was arrested at his 131 Jackson St. home in Methuen and Brower was arrested in Revere.

During their arraignments yesterday in a courtroom filled with reporters, Denniston said the prosecution has at least 10 witnesses and four hours of recorded conversations in the case against Kattar and Brower.

The trial is set for July 16 at 10 a.m.

If convicted, Denniston said, Kattar and Brower could face maximum jail sentences of 45 years and $23,000 fines.

The July trial is expected to last a week and a half, Denniston said.

Who's who in Scientology case

[Picture / Caption: HARVEY BROWER, 49, 451 Essex St., Swampscott. A disbarred Lawrence attorney, he was fined $3,750 last year for his role in a $100-mIllion-a-year gambling ring. He served six months in jail in 1979 for conspiring to help a convicted embezzler jump bail. Brower successfully defended former New England crime boss Raymond L.S. Patriarca 15 years ago.

[Picture / Caption: GEORGE T. KATTAR SR., 67, 131 Jackson St., Methuen. Kattar's name has been linked in the past with the names of organized crime figures. Agents earlier this month raided his summer home and business in New Hampshire in connection with loan-sharking, firearms investigation. No charges have been filed in connection with that raid.

[Picture / Caption: MICHAEL J. FLYNN, 42, 72 High Ridge Road, Boxford. Lawyer who says he is number one on Scientology Church's enemies list. He has filed more than 20 lawsuits against the church.]

[Picture / Caption: L. RON HUBBARD, founded Church of Scientology 30 years ago. He died a multimillionaire earlier this year, setting off a squabble for his assets between church and his estranged son. Also a well-known science fiction author.]