Today I received the “Notice of Action” brief filed Tuesday against Gospel for Asia by plaintiff Greg Zentner of Nova Scotia, Canada. The class action suit alleges GFA breached their fiduciary duty to donors, defrauded donors, made negligent misstatements to donors, and “civilly conspired to misrepresent the nature of the donations collected from the class and the use to which they would be put.”
The plaintiff, on behalf of GFA donors in Canada, seeks financial damages in the following ways with interest:
return of $20,000,000.00 in funds misdirected to GFA USA;
damages for the defendant’s unlawful actions for the misuse of donor funds in excess of $100,000,000.00, or such other sum as this Honourable Court may find appropriate;
punitive damages of $50,000,000 or such other sum as this Honourable Court may find appropriate;
The overview of the suit claims:
Thousands of well-intentioned Canadians were duped into collectively donating tens of millions of dollars to an international fundraising syndicate operating in Canada known by a variety of names including as Gospel for Asia, Gospel for Asia Canada, GFA, and, later, as GFA World. The donors were convinced by the representations of the Defendants that 100% of donations designated for use in the field would be used in the field, and that their donations would be used for specific charitable purposes to help the poorest of the poor in India. Instead, the funds were converted by the Defendants for their own use, including for the construction of a luxurious compound and personal residence in Texas, USA. In this action, the Canadian donors seek to recover these donations that were collected through fraud or misrepresentation.
In Murphy v. GFA, GFA said that Canada was the source of funds for the $20-million which capped off the compound building project. GFA leaders lied to their staff, followers, and accountant by first saying that an anonymous donor sent the money. Then they covered that story by saying an Indian entity of Believers’ Church gave the money to them. Then during the court proceedings, a GFA lawyer said the funds came from Canada. To the ECFA, GFA said the funds were restricted funds that they used to pay for the headquarters’ construction and then paid back. Sorting out this convoluted story will be part of this lawsuit since plaintiff Zentner wants the $20-million returned to Canadian donors.
One of the key facts of the case relates to the absence of Canada as a source of donations to GFA/Believers’ Church in Indian charity reports for an eight year period from 2007-2014. In Canadian charity reports, over $94-million was donated to GFA to go to India during that time period, but during the same period, Indian public documents show no money coming from Canada. GFA spokesman Johnnie Moore evaded that question in a recent CBC interview, but GFA won’t be able to do so in court.