Scientologists Found Guilty In U.S. Conspiracy Case - 1979-10-27
U.S. District Judge Charles R. Richey yesterday found nine members of the Church of Scientology guilty of various roles in a massive criminal conspiracy to plant church spies in government agencies, break into government offices and electronically "bug" at least one Internal Revenue Service meeting.
Richey, whose ruling came after the federal government submitted nearly 300 pages of evidence against the church, did not set a sentencing date pending a presentence investigation that usually takes about one month. Eight of the defendantss could receive a maximum sentence of five years in prison; one could be sentenced to a maximum of one year.
Richey's pronouncement of guilt came after a three-hour hearing marked by bitter squabbling among attorneys for both sides over suggested last-minute changes in the wording of the evidence presented.