Three leaders of a multimillion dollar international yoga network that promoted itself as Yoga to individuals before closing down amid published reports that it operated such as a cult were arrested Wednesday in Washington State for failing woefully to pay federal taxes while they lived lavishly, authorities in NY announced.
A complaint unsealed in Manhattan federal court said the donation-based organization generated over $20 million in revenue for ten years while promising that its classes featured no-ego no glorified teachers because yoga is for everybody.
The business were only available in the East Village of Manhattan in 2006 before becoming popular and spreading elsewhere, with about 20 yoga studios in SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, Berkeley and Oakland in California, Tempe, Arizona, Orlando, Florida, and cities in Colorado, Washington State, Spain and Israel, the complaint said.
Arrested on charges of tax evasion and conspiracy to defraud the inner Revenue Service were Gregory Gumucio, 61, and Haven Soliman, 33, both of Cathlamet, Washington, alongside Michael Anderson, 51, of Bellevue, Washington. It wasnt immediately clear who represent them at a court appearance in Washington State. The complaint said Soliman had described herself as Gumucios husband in a draft of a 2012 email, nonetheless it added that no marriage certificate has been located, though they’re long-term romantic partners.
Authorities described Gumucio because the founder, principal owner and functional ceo of the business while Anderson served as a chief financial officer and Soliman was its chief communications officer and director of its Teacher TRAINING CURRICULUM, which earned substantial income from aspiring yoga teachers.
They said all three claimed their annual incomes were six figures in loan or rental applications from 2013 to 2020, if they filed no individual taxation statements.
They said the trio enjoyed extravagant lifestyles, including frequent foreign travel, NFL season tickets, horse lodging, alongside expensive meals and clothing.
The complaint said the defendants evaded taxes by failing to produce a corporate headquarters or keep corporate books and records and by accepting yoga students payments in cash, sometimes collected in tissue boxes passed around during classes, and by paying yoga teachers in cash and off the books.
Gumucio, in accordance with a government release, targeted and groomed typically ladies among others to become nominee owners of studios, luring them with the title of studio owner when, actually, he generally controlled business decisions, took a cut of these proceeds, and the nominees generally took on meaningful financial risk.
The July 2020 yoga networks closing came right before VICE News published an extended investigative report saying interviews with an increase of than 30 individuals who knew or caused Gumucio because the mid-1990s depict him as a predator with a penchant for controlling and sexually manipulating bright and frequently vulnerable ladies.
Significantly less than fourteen days later, NY magazine published its piece, saying former employees had described the yoga group as cult-like, saying that behind the companys shiny, friendly facade was a dark and dysfunctional workplace built on secrecy and manipulation.
In a release, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said the investigation in to the yoga network was continuing and heurged anyone who believes these were a victimof any crimes linked to the business or should they have information regarding the defendants in the event to attain out.
As alleged, the defendants operated a lucrative nationwide yoga business, which earned over $20 million and netted them each substantial sums, permitting them to call home lavish lifestyles. The defendants chose never to file taxation statements, or pay taxes, for at the very least seven consecutive years, he said.
Thomas Fattorusso, head of New Yorks IRS office, also hinted that the investigation was more likely to result in a lot more than tax charges.
Todays arrests and charges will be the opening salvo from this years-long scam and step one to holding these defendants in charge of their alleged crimes, he said.