The founder of the now-defunct Honohana Sampogyo foot-reading cult was sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison for bilking his flock out of 150 million yen in the name of religious training.

The Tokyo District Court convicted Hogen Fukunaga, 60, of fraud, concluding he deceived his followers into paying "fees for training" that would cure them of diseases.

Presiding Judge Tsutomu Aoyagi accused the ex-cult leader, whose real name is Teruyoshi Fukunaga, of exploiting people's fears of diseases and other troubles by claiming he could read their past and future by examining the soles of their feet.