French Court Upholds Scientology Fraud Conviction

Published February 2, 2012 9:00AM (EST)

PARIS (AP) — A French appeals court has upheld the Church of Scientology's 2009 fraud conviction.

The French branch of the group was accused of pressuring members into paying large sums for questionable remedies and using "commercial harassment" against recruits.

While Scientology is recognized as a religion in the U.S., Sweden and Spain, it is not considered one under French law.

The original trial court, however, stopped short of banning the organization in France, declining even to shut down its operations.

The appeals court on Thursday ordered the same fines as the trial court, euro400,000 ($530,000) for the church and euro200,000 for its bookstore.

Founded in 1954 by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, the church teaches that technology can expand the mind and help solve problems.

By Salon Staff

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