ST. PETERSBURG, March 29 (RAPSI, Mikhail Telekhov) – Ekaterina Zaborskikh, who had been already two times convicted of embezzling millions of rubles from real estate investors and transferring the money to the Church of Scientology Moscow, will go on the third trial on similar charges, RAPSI has learnt in the Oktyabrsky District Court of St. Petersburg.
The case has reached the court. This time the woman is charged with stealing over 3.5 million rubles ($54,000) from the members of cooperative and housing societies.
Earlier, the woman was sentenced to 6.5 and then to 5.5 years for embezzling over 33 million rubles ($510,000) and over 130 million rubles (about $2 million) respectively. Collectively, she received an 8.5-year term in penal colony.
According to investigators, Zaborskikh was a chairman of several consumer committees and housing cooperatives. Allegedly she was responsible for deceiving people into paying her money under the guise of selling apartments, houses and land plots around St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region while she had no ability to provide such real estate.
Zaborskikh allegedly used the money on her own volition by, among other things, transferring it to the religious organization called “The Church of Scientology Moscow”. According to investigators, she gave away money to the organization both in cash and through cashless transfer.
Dianetics and Scientology are a set of religious and philosophical ideas and practices that were put forth by L. Ron Hubbard in the US in the early 1950s.
The scientific community never recognized it as science.
A resolution passed in 1996 by the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, classified the Church of Scientology as a destructive religious organization.
The Moscow Regional Court ruled in 2012 that some of Hubbard’s books be included on the Federal List of Extremist Literature and prohibited from distribution in Russia.