Scientology sued for Fraud! It's going DOWN like bird sh**! (The Garcia Suit)

Discussion in 'Media' started by BlackRob, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. BlackRob Member

    In what appears to be the most serious legal challenge to Scientology in several years, former high-level Scientologists Luis Garcia and his wife Maria del Rocio Burgos Garcia filed a federal lawsuit today in Florida’s Middle District with the help of the prestigious law firm Babbitt Johnson Osborne & Le Clainche, which says it plans to file additional lawsuits by other former church members.

    In 1993, when the Internal Revenue Service granted Scientology tax exempt status, the church made certain promises to the government in order to escape a $1 billion tax bill. Among those promises, the church vowed to give members refunds when they requested them.
    Now that Scientology is in the grips of crisis and more and more longtime members like the Garcias are walking away from the church, an increasing number of them have asked for refunds — and the church isn’t giving them.
    We’ve written about this state of affairs numerous times. Now, the Garcias have filed a lawsuit that accuses church leader David Miscavige of turning Scientology into little more than a fraudulent money-making scam.
    “The Church, under the leadership of David Miscavige, has strayed from its founding principles and morphed into a secular enterprise whose primary purpose is taking people’s money,” the complaint says.
    The Garcias and their attorneys are about to hold a press conference, and we’ll be listening in telephonically and taking notes. We’ve had time only to read through the complaint once, and we’ll be adding to this story as we learn more.
    Some quick notes from the complaint, which we’ve uploaded below.
    – Luis Garcia, in the press conference: “Every time I was asked for a donation for the [Super Power] Building, I was told it would open within a year. I was lied to.”
    – Ted Babbitt, Luis’s attorney, says that the lawsuit is not about Luis wanting the Super Power building open, but about the lies. “We can’t wait to see the finances” that will come out in discovery, he says. Oh, we can imagine he is looking forward to that.

    • Winner Winner x 26
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  2. Horseradish Member

    Oh yes, discovery. We're all looking forward to that!
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  3. fishypants Moderator


    I don't really see how this is a departure from Scientology's founding principles.

    Defrauding members seems more like rigid adherence to Scientology's founding principles, to me.

    Still, all good to see.
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  4. RightOn Member

    so this must be the thing that Tony was teasing about yesterday?

    Bend over COS! errr... again
  5. RolandRB Member

    How can you sue for fraud in a civil case? I thought fraud was for criminal prosecution.
  6. Bump for the truly epic.
  7. RightOn Member

    so in a nut shell, the COS is not complying with the IRS agreement to issue refunds.

    Not to mention they should not have exemption in the first place according to written law which states that if laws are broken (which they do on daily basis) tax exemption can not be granted or i can be taken away.
    yeahhhh right.
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  8. fishypants Moderator

    IIUC fraud can be civil or criminal.

    They're suing for damages as a result of fraud - i.e. for the money they were defrauded of. Also breach of contract and some other things.
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  9. Paroxetine Samurai Moderator

    IANAL but: Fraud can be a civil tort too. You can sue for civil damages if the criminal sauce is weak because it doesn't have to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt in civil court.

    Happens quite a lot in small claims court.
  10. RightOn Member

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  11. RightOn Member

    and if hundreds of people come forward EACH One should sue individually
    A class action lawsuit would work in COS's favor financially
    so I have heard
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  12. "they should..." "they must...." - Fuck that. They could and will get away with shit worse than than.
    Why? Dunno!
    This message by VaDi has been hidden due to negative ratings. (Show message)
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  13. The Wrong Guy Member

    Quoting from today's press conference, in Tony's article:

    Babbitt: Says he knows of hundreds of other former Scientologists who are just waiting for a lawsuit like this. He thinks he will end up representing many of them. They expect to end up representing HUNDREDS of people, but they do NOT plan to turn it into a class action.

    (That’s really a good thing. Although we see our readers often extoll the idea of a class action lawsuit, the reality is that class action lawsuits totally blow, and they only end up enriching attorneys.)
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  14. RightOn Member

    ^^^^ great
    I was thinking back of the cases against the cig companies and how a class action lawsuits were in their favor
  15. failboat Member

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  16. The Wrong Guy Member

    Here's the first article to follow Tony's scoop:

    First in series of suits says Scientology misspent contributions | The Tampa Tribune

    By Keith Morelli

    A California couple filed a federal lawsuit today in Tampa against the Church of Scientology, saying hundreds of thousands of dollars they gave to the church for specific purposes was spent elsewhere.

    Attorneys for the couple say it is the first of a series of lawsuits that will be filed by former church members across the nation, alleging fraud, unfair deceptive trade practices and breach of contract.


    Stay with for updates.

    Comments are open below the full article, at
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  17. RightOn Member

    I pray this doesn't turn into a "donor beware" case and that they don't settle out of court like Debbie Cook
  18. wolfbane Member

    So the Judge is James D. Whittemore... where do we know that name? Oh right, Terri Schiavo. Since who the judge is always becomes significant in Scientology cases in Florida, here's a few spots of interest:

    I'm not sure what to think, do any lawfags got any thoughts to offer on his track record?
  19. TrevAnon Member

    And the hits keep on coming. :)
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  20. 2013. "I pray..."
  21. amaX Member

    We tried to help the cult. The Clearwater Cell has had at least 4 grand openings for the damned building.
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  22. YouSeeNothing Member

    Was going to quote the same statement. Very similar tactic to what the cult did to the IRS, the first drop of blood in the water, and it just promises to lure in the sharks. I wonder if we'll start seeing advertising attorneys with 800 numbers calling for class-action suits on top of this one. 1-800-SUE-CULT.
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  23. The Wrong Guy Member

  24. thesneakster Member

    The Garcias are Independent Scientologists, whom so many of you here seem to despise.

    I am not a lawyer, but I would be willing to bet the Garcias have a very good shot at this.... I mean the Superpower building is still not finished and not in operation and Darth Midget is still soliciting donations for it to this very day. DM's fraudulent representations about the SP Building Fund are very, very, very well documented.

    Michael A. Hobson
    Independent Scientologist
  25. Horseradish Member

    They will until it's more hassle for the IRS for the present situation to continue, than it is for the IRS to do something about it.
    More hassle from litigants = good.
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  26. snippy Member

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  27. Horseradish Member

    Hmm, this lawyer wants more similar cases. That means going for settlements rather than courtroom dramas.
  28. You litigant?
    I'm here in Russia don't know the inner workings of IRS. I admit. Do you? - I guess not. - Yet, you and me know the same shit. IRS is like a "Secret Service" to you and to me.
    This message by VaDi has been hidden due to negative ratings. (Show message)
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  29. BlackRob Member

    – Babbitt: “I’ve sued the biggest companies in the United States…I’m not afraid of taking on the Church of Scientology.”

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  30. Anonymous Member

  31. BlackRob Member

    Don't sweat it. The Garcia's got money...
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  32. Anonymous Member

    I dunno, I'm kind of on the fence.

    On the one hand I feel sympathy for the victims of Scientology's confidence trick.

    On the other hand I do kind of despise the people within Scientology who have perpetrated fraud, harassment, etc, on other people.

    Where the same people are both victims and perpetrators, I'm just confused. :)

    In so far as 'Independent Scientology' is a continuation of Scientology's fraud, I'm against it.

    In so far as it helps people get free of the main, and more harmful, organisation, I'm in favour of it.

    Just see me as a model of Anonymous's institutional schizophrenia. ;)

    So anyway, that's why people like Marty - who have been perpetrators far more than they have been victims in the past, and who are currently using and abusing ex-culties in a kind of pretty despicable way - that's why they get despised.

    As for your average man-on-the-street ex-Scientologist, I guess I'm more sympathetic than anything else.
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  33. Paroxetine Samurai Moderator

    Wrong. I've never had issues with indies.. or you.

    I'm more about DM and Scientology than indies.

    Not a lawyer either but the problem is the Garcias have the Burden of Proof....

    ...but the beauty is that this is a civil court suit. So the burden doesn't have to be beyond reasonable doubt. Odds are though Scientology might try to settle out of court than face a trial. However, will just have to wait and see.
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  34. YouSeeNothing Member

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  35. BlackRob Member

    If they settle out of court, they need to settle with all those people.... So they are going to lose money in both cases :)
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  36. The Wrong Guy Member

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  37. Paroxetine Samurai Moderator

    Yep. So it is a Win-Win for everybody but Scientology.
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  38. A civil suit won't affect the IRS agreement with the cult?
  39. wolfbane Member

    Good question. Especially in light of this utterly delicious tidbit from pg4 of the Complaint:
    /SALUTE Mr. Babbitt! You are made of awesome.
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  40. amaX Member

    First deposition: David Miscavige. hahahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahahaaaa!
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