Monday, March 26, 2012

ISKCON Mumbai leaders involved in Money Laundering

Bharatarshabha Dasa
Scandals and ISKCON Mumbai seem to be synonymous. We had already exposed some of the malpractices of its leaders in previous articles. We have obtained copy of email exchanges between the executive committee of GBC (EC) and some of the members of ISKCON Mumbai’s bureau which reveal that serious investigations are on as to whether there are instances of money laundering going on in ISKCON Mayapur a branch of ISKCON Mumbai. The copies of the email were submitted by ISKCON Bangalore in its SLP filed before the Honorable Supreme Court of India. The person under scanner is Dayaram Dasa.
We had already highlighted the fact that Doyaram Dasa is running many big businesses and earning thousands of dollars please read about the same We had also highlighted about alleged moral turpitude in one of the trusts with ISKCON Mumbai leaders being in the thick of it We present below a brief summary of the email exchange. Dayaram Dasa accepts his fault but attacks querent Pragosha Dasa
Please click to see a copy of the email dated 11th Oct 2011 2:20 pm from Dayarama Dasa to Pragosha dasa and others
Click To Enlarge

Click To Enlarge

Pragosha Prabhu, the Co-director of Mayapur alleges that personal monies of a bureau member are being routed through ISKCON Mayapur.
“… How a bureau member can route personal monies through ISKCON accounts … given that it is illegal to do so…”
Dayaram accepts that personal monies were routed thru ISKCON but justifies his acts he says:
“…First of all let me make it absolutely clear that it is not illegal it is an irregularity at worst, attracting some fines.”
It is very astonishing thing to see that a bureau member of ISKCON Mumbai considers a serious breach of a charity law in very light terms. Is he not the one who is supposed to be responsible for proper upkeep of accounts of trust, but unfortunately he is openly callous about his own responsibilities. It will be interesting to see if ISKCON GBC will take serious action against Dayaram or will buckle under pressure from Jayapataka Swami and other associates of self proclaimed gurus and condone him.
Dayaram dasa in the e-mail attacks Pragosha himself saying that most foreign devotees holding positions in ISKCON India are doing so illegally, in fact he goes to the extent of saying that the whole Mayapur township project is illegal!
EC demands an enquiry
Please click to see a copy of the email dated 18th Nov 2011 8:55 am from GBC Executive Committee (EC) to Jayapataka and others
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Click To Enlarge

It looks like there have been more email exchanges between Pragosha and Dayarama on this issue , but the matter again comes up for further discussion in another email exchange but this time between the EC and GBC members. EC in the above email states:
“…one case we are aware of as a result of the audit report of 2008 shows an amount of $ 2, 40,000 invested on behalf of Dayarama Dasa through an ISKCON mutual investment scheme…”
Please to see a photograph
of one of the apartment blocks
in Mayapur which belongs to him.
The GBC executive committee, consisting of Hridaya Chaitanya Dasa, Bhakti Chaitanya Swami and Tamohara Dasa is writing to Jayapataka Swami, Radhanatha Swami and others asking them to answer specific questions pertaining to Dayarama Dasa’s personal monies invested thru’ ISKCON Mayapur. They allege that as per the audit report of 2008 an enormous amount of money to the tune of $ 2, 40,000 (about 1.2cr rupees!) of Dayarama’s personal money was invested in ISKCON mutual investment scheme. Questions 1 to 4 raised by EC refer to the practice of investing personal monies in general and specifically to Doyaram Dasa. The GBC is yet to answer these questions. Will GBC censure Dayarama or at least rein him in? We doubt it.
Bigger question is how did Dayarama Dasa raise such huge amounts of monies? Janardhan Nirman Pvt Ltd owned by Dayarama das made a net profit of about $ 1, 20,000 that too in the year 2011-12, but these monies under the scanner of EC investigation which are being discussed in the above emails were invested in 2008 which means he must have been running some other lucrative businesses during that time. Where did he get the seed money for those businesses? What happened to all the profits of those businesses? How much of it is he donating to ISKCON projects? Is he using his position in ISKCON as a bureau member for promoting his business? We also know that he has built many apartments in Mayapur which was sold to devotees.

Personal monies - 1.2million dollars!

In the fifth question raised by EC in the email there is mention that apart from Dayarama’s personal monies approximately another 1.2 million dollars of others’ personal monies were invested in the same ISKCON mutual investment scheme. Excerpts are given below:
“5. The $ 2, 40,000, that was invested on behalf of Dayaram Das through an ISKCON mutual investment scheme, was part of an overall investment of approximately $1.2million…”
Where did this money come from? Is it from the Guru Dakshina accounts of various unauthorized self proclaimed Gurus of ISKCON? There is huge financial crunch in many ISKCON temples around the world and many temples have even declared bankruptcy and some other temples are selling their properties not being able to maintain themselves, it is astonishing that some people’s personal monies to the tune of millions of dollars are being invested by ISKCON Mayapur in a mutual investment scheme.
The laws related to charitable societies make it abundantly clear that it is highly irregular for a charitable institution to route personal monies for mutual investment schemes, if the concerned tax authorities take this seriously then it may lead to revoking of charitable status of ISKCON Mumbai. The question still remains where did such huge amount of funds come from? Who were those individuals who gave their personal monies? Were these monies illegally transferred to ISKCON? The tax authorities in India will be very interested to get answers to these questions.
Was the request for investigation by the EC into these questions welcomed by the GBC and an inquiry ordered? What were the results of such an enquiry if at all they were conducted?

Srila Prabhupada’s Instructions
 We all know that Srila Prabhupada wanted that finances of ISKCON be managed in a transparent manner.
“Bookkeeping is the most important item. As you are growing in stature, our accounting system should become very perfect. We have to publish now a short statement of accounts. As we increase our life membership number, we must submit our audited accounts and that will convince the public of our stability…”
(Srila Prabhupada in a letter to Karandhara 18th March 1971, Bombay)
Accounts must be kept, things must be in order and lawfully done
(Srila Prabhupada in a letter to Karandhara 22nd Dec 1972 Bombay)
Srila Prabhupada wanted that the reputation of ISKCON be not blemished by sloppy management. He wanted that ISKCON should serve as benchmark for transparency on financial dealings by proper accounting practices and tight management of finances.  But unfortunately ISKCON Mumbai has become callous to these wishes of Srila Prabhupada. If one goes by the email exchanges it is evident that management is indeed sloppy and accounts are not properly being kept and funds not managed as per law. Situation demands swift action by the GBC and enforcement of disciplinary measures against the culprits. Will the GBC act swiftly or will it as usual turn a blind eye to the malpractices of one of its leaders as he is connected very thickly to an influential self proclaimed guru?
More disturbing fact is that not only Dayarama Dasa but there several others involved in using ISKCON for routing personal monies. Given the fact that ISKCON receives huge donations which are meant for charitable and preaching purposes it is imperative that GBC members maintain high degree of transparency. In light of the revelation that personal monies are being routed through ISKCON and we all know that the self proclaimed gurus of ISKCON receive huge Guru dakshinas, to gain clarity on the financial management it is important that the GBC institute a system of voluntary disclosure of assets and monies of all its members and their immediate family members (at least) if any. This positive action will definitely go a long way in showing to the world that ISKCON Mumbai respects the need for maintaining transparency in all its financial dealings. This will not only prove that there is no malpractice but will also bring out the fact that ISKCON monies are safe. When Members of Parliament of India can openly declare their assets why should GBC members hesitate in coming forward and declaring the same? They are after all part of mission of Srila Prabhupada and are supposed to be leaders of an organization dedicated to selfless service to Krishna. The GBC should have nothing to hide in their personal capacity. Any hesitation to do so can throw aspersions and may indicate that they are trying to hide skeletons in their cupboards.

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