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Heart Surgery Delays Sentence for Crime Figure

Sentencing for Tarzana businessman and reputed organized-crime figure Jack Catain has been postponed for six months after a Los Angeles federal court judge learned that the 55-year-old Catain, free on bail since his counterfeiting conviction last November, underwent open heart surgery.

U. S. District Judge William P. Gray on Tuesday set a new sentencing date of Aug. 17 for Catain, convicted Nov. 7 of conspiring to sell part of a $3.3-million cache of counterfeit $100 bills.

A jury found Catain guilty of plotting to peddle the phony cash and of selling $50,000 in the counterfeit $100 bills. He was acquitted of a third charge that he passed two other $100 bills.

The government has linked Catain, son of a Chicago produce-market worker who once headed a Westwood-based company with sales of $100 million a year and a listing on the American Stock Exchange, to Mafia families in Chicago and Philadelphia.

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Catain has insisted that he is not a member of organized crime and has portrayed himself as a victim of the government’s efforts to justify an investigation of his activities that lasted several years.


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