Indo-American Indicted For Stealing From Gujarati Community Trust Fund

0
133

Girishcha Patel, 59, a residentof Franklin townshipof Somerset county in NewJersey and a former treasurerof the Federation ofGujarati Associations inNorth America (FOGANA)is accused of misappropriatingthe funds fromthe bank accounts of theassociation.

NEW YORK – A formertreasurer of a Gujarati communitynon-profit associationin the U.S. has been indicted forallegedly stealing $85,844 over amore than six-year period fromits bank accounts.Girishcha Patel, 59, a residentof Franklin township ofSomerset county in New Jerseyand a former treasurer ofthe Federation of Gujarati Associationsin North America(FOGANA) is accused of misappropriatingthe funds fromthe bank accounts of the association,the Star Ledger reported.In January this year, theFOGANA lodged a complaintwith the Somerset prosecutor’soffice special investigationsunit that Patel misappropriatedfunds from the cultural organisation’sbank accounts whenhe was treasurer from 2004through 2012.Patel withdrew more than$75,000 in funds from theFOGANA bank accounts betweenJanuary 2006 and March2012 without the organisation’spermission, while he was treasurerand had sole access to theaccounts.Patel was arrested Oct 21and later released on bail.He was indicted on the basisof bank records, tamperedbank statements, falsified financialreports, a phony bank accountnumber and email communications.The FOGANA was formedin 1980 with the aim to “bringall the Gujarati people living inNorth America closer togetherby promoting a common platformto sustain and perpetuatethe cultural heritage of Gujarat,India”.