FEBRUARY 18 2012 22:29h

Charges dropped against French 'polygamist


NANTES, France, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Prosecutors say they plan to appeal a French court's ruling to dismiss fraud charges against an Algerian-born man who allegedly lived as a polygamist in France.

Lies Hebbadj, 35, allegedly obtained welfare benefits fraudulently, Radio France Internationale reported Saturday. Prosecutors say he cheated the state out of about $120,000.

Hebbadj, who has lived in France since the age of 2, came to the attention of authorities in 2010 when his wife was stopped for a traffic violation in Nantes. Police said she was wearing a full-face veil that cut off her vision so that it was unsafe for her to drive.

Hebbadj's lawyer said prosecutors were unable to come up with any real proof that he was living with multiple wives.