The former leader of the now defunct Hindu Temple of Georgia has been indicted on 32 counts of federal crimes, including several in connection with a scheme that bilked money from his followers.
Annamalai Annamalai, also known as Dr. Commander Selvam, is accused of using his position to make multiple charges on his followers’ credit cards without their knowledge.
The temple, now bankrupt, was located on Brook Hollow Parkway in Norcross.
"Annamalai exploited his position as a leader and spiritual adviser to enrich himself, by fleecing the people who trusted him with their most personal information," IRS Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge, Veronica F. Hyman-Pillot said in a press release from United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. "IRS Criminal Investigation has 'followed the money trail' to ensure that these actions do not go unpunished."
The press release did not say how much was taken from followers.
Annamalia is accused of charging fees to his followers for various spiritual services to their credit cards that were in excess of the agree-upon figures. If charges were disputed, he allegedly sent false information to the credit card companies to justify them. He is charged with seven counts of bank fraud for this practice.
The indictment also charges Annamalai used the defrauded money to fund a lifestyle for he and his family that included numerous homes and real properties, luxury vehicles, and foreign bank accounts in India.
Annamalai, 48, of Baytown, Texas, additionally was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bankruptcy fraud and 10 counts of committing bankruptcy fraud in the temple’s petition in 2009 to seek bankruptcy protection. Other charges include 10 counts of money laundering and three counts making false statements.