Lawsuit Targets Cruise, Scientology 'Crime Syndicate'
Files harassment lawsuit under federal RICO statute
By Elizabeth Wolff,  Newser User
Posted Jul 31, 2008 11:07 AM CDT
Tom Cruise has been named in a federal lawsuit calling the Church of Scientology a "crime syndicate."   (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg, File)
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(Newser) – An ex-Scientologist says the organization is a “crime syndicate” in a $250 million federal lawsuit that names Tom Cruise as the head honcho's "right-hand man," reports the Daily News. The suit uses a statute designed to counter organized crime in an attempt to have the Church of Scientology broken up.

Peter Letterese's suit claims Scientologist head David Miscavage is "aided and abetted by the actions of Tom Cruise, his right-hand man for foreign and domestic promotion, as well as for foreign and domestic lobbying. He has assisted the syndicate in acquiring funds and [made] his own donations of money believed to be in the multiple tens of millions of dollars."