Founder of Hot Yoga in Hot Water

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The founder of the pop-Yoga phenomenon Bikram Yoga has been ordered by a Los Angeles court to hand over his entire company, a wristwatch worth more than one million dollars, and a fleet of 43 luxury cars to a previous employee.

That is, if the anyone can find them.

Bikram Choudhury, 72, built a $70 million empire by creating a popular off-shoot of yoga that is practiced in 105º F heat. His routine has been embraced by sweaty pop-culture aficionados and celebrities, including Justin Timberlake, Matthew McConaughey, and Madonna.

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However, when Minakshi Jafa-Bodden, the head of Choudhury’s  legal department at the time, looked into alleged predatory behavior between Choudhury and his young female devotees, the guru promptly fired her. In response, she filed a sex discrimination suit in Los Angeles and was awarded over $6.4 million by a jury last year.

Now facing a heavy fine along with financial trouble from declining interest in his brand, the self-styled spiritual guru hightailed it back to his native India. Ms. Jafa-Bodden’s  legal team is now desperately trying to track down millions in hidden assets such as a diamond-encrusted watch, multiple properties scattered around the globe, and a massive collection of luxury cars, including 13 Rolls-Royces, eight Bentleys, and three Ferraris.

While Chadhury stoutly denies ownership of these properties, Ms. Jafa-Bodden’s lawyers claim to have photographic evidence of the garage master and Choudhury’s long-time friend secretly removing all the cars from the automotive compound.

Just like in all over-the-top mysteries, the butler did it. But anyone who can successfully hide 43 luxury cars in a single day probably deserves a raise.

 

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