PARIS, Oct 27, 2009 (UPI via COMTEX) — The Church of Scientology Tuesday was convicted of fraud and six of its members ordered to pay as much as $595,000 each, prosecutors in France said.
The two plaintiffs in the trial testified the church and its members defrauded them through the use of a so-called electropsychometer, or E-Meter, that allegedly measures spiritual well-being, CNN reported.
The plaintiffs said they were encouraged to pay thousands of dollars for unnecessary vitamins and books after the device was used on them.
The church, which is classified as a sect in France, had said it would appeal any judgment against it.
The Correctional Court judge overseeing the trial said the church must remain on the “correct side of the law” if it is to continue operating in France. Prosecutors had asked for the church and its bookstore to be permanently shut down.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International