Former Scientologists tell federal judge: Church thwarted process to get money back - 2016-04-14
TAMPA — In an attempt to resolve their $1.3 million fraud case against the Church of Scientology, a federal judge last year required Luis and Rocio Garcia to submit to the church's internal arbitration process.
That is easier said than done, the couple says in a new motion that accuses Scientology of obstructing the process for months. It also argues that the church, by throwing up barriers, has effectively waived the right to have the matter arbitrated and asks U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore to get on with their lawsuit.
The Garcias, who live in California, are seeking the return of $1.3 million in donations they made to various Scientology causes during their 28 years in the church — most notably a sum of more than $420,000 that went to the church's massive "Flag Building" in downtown Clearwater.