Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Scientology Church Convicted Of Fraud

2009-10-27 12:09pm

The Church of Scientology has been convicted of fraud in a French court and handed down fines and a suspended jail sentence for the group's head in France.

The conviction follows complaints from two women, one of whom said she was manipulated into buying more than 20,000 euros worth of life-improvement courses and health products in the 1990s. The second woman alleged the Scientologists dismissed her from her job after she refused to sign up to courses and be tested.

A judge ordered the Church to pay a 600,000-euro fine, with the group's head in France Alain Rosenberg given a two-year suspended jail sentence and fined 30,000 euros.

Three other members of the group were also fined.

Science fiction writer L Ron Hubbard founded the Church of Scientology in 1954 and members includes Hollywood stars such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

Prosecutors had sought heavier fines and wanted the group disbanded but this was not possible due to a legal loophole.

French officials have designated Scientology as a sect and not a religion.

(C) NewsRoom 2009

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