Lawsuits target LA Kabbalah Centre

The Associated Press/December 4, 2013

Los Angeles -- Former supporters of the Kabbalah Centre have sued the Los Angeles-based spiritual organization, claiming more than $1 million in contributions was used fraudulently.

The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that two lawsuits filed last week claim the center, which attracted Madonna and other celebrities, raised money to enrich itself instead of using the funds to build a new facility in San Diego and for a children's charity.

The lawsuits say the center was never built and the charity abruptly stopped operation. More than $40 million in damages are being sought from the center and its leaders.

After a boom in popularity due in part with its association with celebrities, the center in recent years has been dogged by controversy. A federal tax-evasion investigation was launched but the current status of the probe isn't known.

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