Scientology Files Fraud Appeal in France

Church and leaders were convicted in 2009
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2011 3:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Church of Scientology opened an appeal today of a 2009 fraud conviction in France, reports the AP. The original case convicted Scientology's French branch, bookstore, and six leaders of fraud related to pressuring members into paying for expensive but questionable treatments, as well as harassing recruits. The church and bookstore were fined $830,000, and four of the group's leaders were given suspended sentences of between 10 months and two years. The church plans to argue that the conviction violates freedom of religion; France, however, does not consider Scientology to be a religion. (Read more Scientology stories.)

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