Guru jailed for aristocratic swindle

2012-11-13 15:00
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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Paris — A man convicted of keeping a family of French aristocrats under his sway for nearly a decade and swindling them out their fortune has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

From 2000 to 2009, Thierry Tilly persuaded the family that there was a plot against the lives of Ghislaine de Vedrines and 10 members of her family. They locked themselves away in their home, sold off their possessions — including the family chateau — and handed over €4.5m.

Tilly was convicted of psychological abuse, and deprivation of civil rights before Tuesday's sentencing. His accomplice, Jacques Gonzalez, was sentenced to four years in prison.

Tilly's lawyers had argued that the family from the Bordeaux region — ages 16 to 89 — acted willingly.

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