Here's the best summary I've seen yet of the financial fraud that the guru of Radha Soami Satsang Beas, Gurinder Singh Dhillon, (allegedly) has committed while purporting to serve as the "spiritual" leader of a sect with millions of followers worldwide. (The image below came from a story in an Indian publication that I shared in a previous post.)
And the summary you can read below was written by a frequenter commenter on this blog, Spence Tepper. Tepper has been a hospital consultant for 30 years, so he knows how bad it is for the guru and his family to take massive amounts money from Indian healthcare companies with no intention of paying the money back.
That's criminal -- as described in a complaint filed against Dhillon and others by his cousin, Malvinder Singh.
The RSSB teachings say that the guru is God in human form, and most devotees look upon him as just that. Well, I dare those true believers to read Tepper's comment and explain how what Dhillon did could be divine actions. If you disagree with the conclusions in the comment, present specific evidence that what he said is wrong.
Otherwise, accept that the RSSB guru is just a flawed human being, not God in human form. Heres the comment:
Because so many shell companies were set up in his [Gurinder Singh Dhillon] wife's name, and they took so many loans without collateral for so many years, you have two pictures: In family-run Indian private corporations this is entirely allowable and reasonable. They can do with their own money as they like. Happens all the time. Because it's all in the family. Profits and losses.
But when moving to a publicly held company, the picture is entirely different.
These casual agreements between relatives now must be transparent and board-approved. No public corporation's officers, even in India, are allowed by law to make secret loans. They require documentation and beyond a set amount, or beyond accounting practice, they require board approval.
Handing out $400M in loans without any required collateral is fraud. Because you are using other people's money...investors money. So the SEBI has stated (Securities and Exchange Board of India). That is stealing money from investors by intention, on purpose. And as Brian has also pointed out, when you damage a healthcare system, you damage vulnerable patients' lives.
I've been a hospital consultant for more than 30 years. This is very wrong. And healthcare systems, in India, also run with much tighter oversight guidelines, just as they do in the U.S. Transparency is crucial to protecting patient lives.
So there is a huge overflowing basket of violations here. As India and other countries become cost-effective centers for surgery for patients abroad, they have worked very hard to confirm quality standards. This whole fiasco with the Dhillon family places a significant and visible black mark on that decades-long effort.
It is understandable that Baba Ji's swagger, common in family-owned companies in India, now in a public company, is fraud. But in a healthcare system, it's worse, and harms vulnerable patients.
His demolition of one of the RSSB public free hospitals and sale of the property to his own private holding company, and then to Fortis illustrates the rapacious nature of these decisions.
The opposite could have been done. Baba ji could have siphoned money to hospitals who had no decent collateral as a means of helping them stay in business and maintain or grow patient access. He could have re-invested his $1B U.S. profits in a couple of new charitable hospitals, as philanthropy. Instead he has burdened the progress of healthcare in India through fraud.
If you can hide financial metrics, you can hide quality metrics, as was seen at Ranbaxy.
In fact going public with the establishment of Fortis appears to have been part of the scheme all along to siphon a much larger pool of money into private interested hands from public investors without their knowledge.
Shivinder was placed as the COO of the healthcare system, but has never actually run a hospital department, nor managed a hospital. This was entirely set up as a fraud scheme. Had they wanted to set up Fortis as a legitimate business venture, they would have put non-family executives with extensive health system management experience as their leaders.
This doesn't reflect well on Shivinder's ethics. He knew well his lack of hospital management experience. Why take the role? Clearly to siphon funds and hide quality variances, as per his skill set at Ranbaxy.
Apparently the negative consequences to patients' lives was not an active consideration.
What they did was set up a scheme, from day one.
In a privately held Indian family corporation who cares if the loans were repaid or not with interest? The uncles would just be quietly cut off from making such decisions in the future.
But the problem is that there was never any intention to return these loans, and the agreed interest rates also were not approved.
Journalists are saying it all had to do with the soft market, but as Brian eloquently pointed out, the market hasn't been that weak. So over all these ten years, wouldn't some of those shell "investments" into real estate have returned substantial profit to Fortis?
Whatever profit they did engender, didn't go back to Fortis. Not because the market was weak, but because there was no agreed pathway for Fortis to ever make any money on those loans.
Fraud. Corporate robbery on a grand level.
Even if I disagreed completely with Brian on all matters of spirituality, I must herald what he is doing. His constant dogged pursuit of this issue of healthcare and other fraud by the Dhillon family is actually a service, not simply to the readers here, but to patients in India for decades to come.
Brian is using his voice, and accepting his duty as a human being to discern right from wrong as best he can, consequences aside, and intervene where he can.
If Baba Ji wanted to pull RSSB down into flames, he could not have come up with a better, more extensive plan. So let's do our part and acknowledge the flames so that His will, the erosion of RSSB, proceeds with all due speed.