Church of Scientology accused of fraud

PARIS, May 25 (UPI) -- The Church of Scientology in France is facing organized fraud charges for allegedly manipulating others for financial gain, authorities said.

Jean-Christophe Hullin, the investigating magistrate in the fraud case, alleges the church's bookshop and headquarters in Paris, along with seven senior church members, manipulated vulnerable people for profit, The Guardian (Britain) reported Monday.


The legal case against the church and its members is focused around a woman, whose identity was not released, who alleges she spent her life savings of nearly $29,000 on Scientology products as a result of the group's psychological manipulations.

In France, Scientology is viewed as a sect and not a recognized religion as it is in other parts of the world. The legal case against the Scientology sect could potentially result in its dissolution in France, the Guardian reported.

Lawyers for the Scientologists have denied any wrongdoing in the matter, alleging the fraud charges against them are the result of an effort by anti-cult organizations in France.

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