The highest appellate court in France has upheld a 2009 ruling against the Church of Scientology wherein the controversial sect had to pay a fraud fine of about $822,000 (€600,000).
The Cour de Cassation upheld a ruling that the Scientology leadership was guilty of fraud that involved taking advantage of followers through various practices.
In contrast to the United States, French law has different standards for religious groups, with entities that are classified as cults being given fewer rights than entities classified as religions. more >>
A 17-year-old student and mother of a 2-year-old boy shocked security officers at a Victoria's Secret store in Herald Square, New York City on Thursday when they fingered her for shoplifting sexy lingerie but found the decomposing corpse of a baby boy in her bag too.
The girl, according to a CBS New York report, was leaving the store on Thursday with a 17-year-old friend when they were both stopped by security guards. One of the guards pointed out a foul smell coming from a bag, according to police and the teen mother identified as Tiona Rodriguez of Crown Heights in Brooklyn, said she had "a baby in the bag."
The security guard alerted the NYPD and Rodriguez later explained to the officers that she had given birth on Wednesday and didn't know what to do with the baby which had reportedly matured about six months in the womb. The teen was taken to hospital while her friend, Francis Estevez, 17, of Glendale, Queens was detained. more >>
Former NFL player turned pastor, Irving Fryar, and his mother Allene McGhee, 72, were indicted by a grand jury in New Jersey on Wednesday for allegedly conspiring to steal more than $690,000 from five banks through a "sophisticated mortgage fraud scam."
According to the Associated Press, Fryar, 51, allegedly colluded with his mother by having her submit false information to secure five loans on her house over six days. The pair are charged with conspiracy and theft by deception.
Fryar is pastor of the New Jerusalem House of God in Mount Holly, N.J., which he founded. It is a church where the Holy Spirit "saves and saturates souls," according to a video on the church's website. more >>
Popular youth evangelist Matt Pitt, 30, who founded one of America's largest Christian youth ministries known as The Basement will spend the next 10 months in jail after an Alabama judge revoked his probation for a 2012 crime on Tuesday.
The evangelist made headlines in August after he jumped off a 45-foot cliff in an unsuccessful attempt to elude Alabama police for allegedly impersonating a police officer for the second time since 2012.
Shelby County District attorney Robby Owens told AL.COM on Tuesday after Pitt's revocation hearing that Pitt should have pleaded to a felony for impersonating a police officer in 2012, but he had offered him a chance to plea to a misdemeanor thinking that the youth pastor would stay out of trouble with his work at The Basement. He expressed regret at the turn of events and said he felt betrayed. more >>
A man who unveiled a real-life horror show on social media in August by shooting his wife multiple times then posting her corpse on Facebook, said he acted in self-defense because his wife had attacked him with missiles like towels, mascara, creams and shoes during an argument.
In an August video released by prosecutors last Friday, according to a CNN report, Derek Medina, 31, who is expected in court for a bail hearing on Tuesday, declared he wasn't guilty of murder because he was only defending himself. Surveillance video also captures portions of the confrontation between Medina and his wife in their home.
"I'm not a killer," said Medina, who has pleaded not guilty to second degree murder. "I do not feel that I'm guilty and I feel like this was self-defense." more >>
A 29-year-old 2012 teacher of the year nominee in south Georgia was indicted by a grand jury last Wednesday for having sexual relations with a 16-year-old boy while knowing he is HIV-positive.
According to a report in the Ledger-Enquirer, the teacher, Phillip Marquis Burns, was first arrested while he was working as an academic coach at Wesley Heights Elementary School in the Muscogee County School District in November 2012.
Last Wednesday a grand jury issued a five-count indictment charging the teacher with child molestation, aggravated child molestation, reckless conduct, child enticement and criminal solicitation. more >>