Former leader of Hindu Temple of Georgia charged with fraud

Federal investigators will sometimes spend years piecing together evidence. That could be what has happened in the case of the former leader of the Hindu Temple of Georgia.

Prosecutors claim the man committed credit card fraud against worshippers who frequented the now defunct Temple. They also accuse him of filing a false income tax return and committing bankruptcy fraud.

Investigators claim to have evidence that the 48-year-old former leader would charge members of the congregation fees for spiritual services and related matters. He would then take the person’s credit card, prosecutors say, and pile on charges above and beyond the fees.

The revenue from the bogus charges went to finance a lavish lifestyle, prosecutors allege; a lifestyle that included multiple residences, luxury cars and money stashed in banks in India.

Prosecutors also claim that in 2007, he filed a false tax return and two years later, committed bankruptcy fraud while the Hindu Temple petitioned for bankruptcy protection. They say he diverted revenues from the alleged bankruptcy fraud to mortgage payments on his personal properties and to himself.

He and another defendant are also accused of hiding assets from creditors.

In some similar situations, the government has spent years compiling evidence to be used in court against a suspect. In some of those cases, it makes sense for a defendant to cooperate with the government and avoid trial and the harshest penalties. In other cases, it makes more sense for the accused to present a vigorous defense to a court.

An experienced federal defense attorney can help a client decide which course of action is best for their situation.

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Former Hindu Temple of Georgia leader faces federal fraud charges,” Marcus K. Garner, Feb. 14, 2014