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Cheating Hindu Priest Convicted

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Cheating Hindu Priest Convicted


Hindu priest, who sometimes portrayed himself as God on earth, and fattened his bank accounts on the backs of temple devotees, was convicted after a two-week trial by jury in Atlanta, Georgia Aug. 25.

Annamalai Annamalai, a/k/a Dr. Commander Selvam, a/k/a Swamiji Sri Selvam Siddhar, the former leader of the now defunct Norcross, GA-based Hindu Temple of Georgia, was convicted of 34 felony counts.

The litany of charges included bank fraud offenses, filing a false tax return, bankruptcy fraud offenses, money laundering, obstruction, false statement offenses, and conspiring to conceal a person from arrest. He is scheduled to be sentenced on November 13, before Atlanta’s District Court Judge Timothy C. Batten Sr.
The high-flying priest made all his tainted money through the temple, charging his followers fees in exchange for providing what they thought were spiritual or other services. All the time he was filching their credit card numbers and getting high on the hog.

In a typical transaction, a follower agreed to pay for a particular service with a credit card number by telephone to guarantee payment.

Annamalai used the credit card numbers to charge for other purchases. If the devotees disputed the charges with their respective credit card companies, Annamalai submitted false documentation to the credit card companies to support the unauthorized charges.

Those transactions formed the basis for his conviction on bank fraud charges.

He also used the money the temple raised for the services and donations to fund his personal lifestyle and that of his family. They owned or controlled numerous homes and real properties, luxury vehicles, and foreign bank accounts in India according to the court papers, the release from the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia says. Annamalai was convicted of filing a false tax return for 2007, failing to disclose his financial interest in foreign bank accounts held in India.

He was also convicted of bankruptcy fraud offenses in connection with the Hindu Temple’s petition for bankruptcy protection in August 2009. Annamalai concealed assets from creditors and others by diverting credit card receipts and donations intended for the Hindu Temple to a bank account in the name of a different entity.

The priest was also convicted of money laundering, using the proceeds from the bankruptcy fraud to pay mortgages on properties that he owned, and payments to himself.

Ironically, when the bankruptcy proceedings began against him, Annamalai closed down the Norcross temple and relocated to a flea market in Dayton, Ohio, according to the Dayton Daily News.

Revered by many of his followers as a virtual saint, Annamalai was thought to be a healer of sorts. “He has helped me and millions across the world,” Narmada Iyer, 38, of Atlanta, told the Dayton paper. “He is my god and he is a righteous man,” Iyer added.

Annamalai named the new temple in the flea market the Hindu Temple of Ohio and nicknamed the property “Vishal’s Ranch” after his son, Dayton Daily News said.

At that time, Ashwani Kumar, a priest at the Hindu Temple of Dayton, said he found it troubling that Annamalai had numerous pictures on the Internet which showed him holding his right hand up to his shoulder with a spinning dial in his hand. “Only gods do this and these are our gods,” Kumar told the paper, adding, “To claim you are a god is a very serious matter.”

The conviction on Aug. 25, also includes three counts of obstruction and false statements in connection with the grand jury investigation and the bankruptcy proceeding.

He gave a fraudulent email to an IRS Special Agent, which was falsely made to appear as if the email had been written and authored by a witness of the criminal investigation; and he submitted a false affidavit to the grand jury, and a false affidavit to the Bankruptcy Court in connection with the Hindu Temple’s bankruptcy proceeding.

Finally, Annamalai was convicted of conspiring with his spouse and co-defendant, Parvathi Sivanadiyan, and others to conceal the arrest of co-defendant Kumar Chinnathambi who was later arrested on July 17, and pled guilty to conspiracy to commit bankruptcy fraud. Chinnathambi is scheduled to be sentenced on October 24, before Judge Batten, Sr. Sivanadiyan is awaiting trial.

Cheating Priest Who Lived High Flying Life on Backs of Devotees Convicted |
Yes there are many such fake swamis roaming in this country & abroad.
There is one more such swami based in chennai...who is facing trials...i dont recollect his name
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