ATLANTA -- The former leader of the now defunct Hindu Temple of Georgia will spend 27 years and three months in prison after being convicted on a number of federal charges.
Annamalai Annamalai was found guilty last August of 34 counts, including bank fraud, tax fraud, bankruptcy fraud and obstruction. He is also now forbidden from offering spiritual services in exchange for money.
Prosecutors said Annamalai, a self-proclaimed "priest" and "child prodigy," convinced his victims they needed spiritual guidance and had to pay him in order to receive it. He then charged the victims' credit cards multiple times in excess of the agreed amounts.
When the victims disputed the extra charges, Annamalai provided the credit card companies with false documents that justified the purchases. He also manipulated audio recordings to make it sound like the victims agreed to pay the charges, according to information presented in court.