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Former religious leader facing multiple federal fraud charges

The former leader of a Hindu temple in Georgia that is now defunct is facing multiple federal fraud charges for allegedly using the temple to further his alleged fraudulent schemes. The federal fraud charges follow accusations that the former leader cheated his followers. According to authorities, fees were charged for spiritual services provided by the former leader. After a credit card number had been obtained by the former leader, authorities allege the former leader when then make additional, unauthorized, charges to the credit card. Finally, the former leader would then submit alleged bogus documentation to support the charges when the allegedly unauthorized charges were challenged.

The former leader is also charged with filing a false income tax return and bankruptcy fraud. The alleged bankruptcy fraud involved diverting funds into an account with a different name in order to conceal those assets from creditors. Additionally, the former founder is facing charges of money laundering for allegedly diverting the funds from the bankruptcy fraud to make mortgage payments on properties he owned, as well as to make payments to himself. He is also facing obstruction charges related to the federal grand jury investigation and bankruptcy proceeding.

Federal fraud charges can be unquestionably serious for any party facing fraud accusations. Criminal charges related to a federal investigation can carry serious penalties for the accused party including jail time and substantial fines. There are different types of fraud, and fraud charges, including tax fraud, bankruptcy fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud, among others, and all can be serious. Because of this, it is important when facing federal fraud charges to have a clear defense strategy.

To face fraud charges head on, it may be necessary to challenge the evidence against the accused party and provide a more complete and fair explanation of the circumstances. An experienced criminal law attorney, familiar with federal crimes and the federal criminal justice system, can serve as an advocate for the accused party throughout the process.

Source: AJC.com, "Former Hindu Temple of Georgia leader faces federal fraud charges," Marcus K. Garner, Feb. 14, 2014

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