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Anton Gautam, a member of the Evangelical Church of the Philippines, is a wealthy former business executive who founded the church and has been described by some as the most influential figure in the region.
But Gautams wealth was revealed through a series of high-profile interviews in 2016, when he said he would give away most of his fortune to charities and his church.
Now, he is facing criminal charges in the US for fraudulently claiming more than $5 million in property, according to the US Attorney’s office.
Gautam and his wife, Amalisa, also founded a business in 2014 called Bikram Yoga.
The two are alleged to have spent $7 million on private jets and hotels.
The church’s tax filings show Gautama and Amaliza’s combined annual income was $3.9 million.
The US Attorney in the district where Gautamas property is located, San Antonio, says the couple is currently being held on $250,000 bond.
Gauts tax filings also show Gauts charitable contributions totalled more than one million dollars.
In a statement released Monday, the Evangelicals United Church of Christ (EUC), the church’s largest organization, said it “regrets that Anton and Amila Gautami have violated their trust by concealing assets and assets assets they own from their church.
We are very disappointed to learn that they are now facing criminal prosecution in the United States.”
The EUC said it was aware of the allegations.EUC’s statement on the Gautaman case: ‘We regret that Anon and Amala Gautamo have violated the trust of the EUC and its members by concealling assets and asset holdings.
We will cooperate fully with the investigation, and will cooperate with any authorities that may seek to hold them accountable.’