Nithyananda, a fugitive spiritual leader from India, is reportedly running a scam involving the creation of a fake country called Kailasa, and using it to solicit money from cities in the United States.
According to a report by The Guardian, Nithyananda and his associates have been reaching out to various cities in the US via email, claiming to represent Kailasa, a “Hindu sovereign nation”. They then asked the cities to become “sister cities” with Kailasa, a move which would involve the cities donating money and resources in exchange for “cultural, educational, and business partnerships” with Kailasa.
At least 30 US cities have reportedly been targeted by the scam, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Seattle. The emails reportedly sought anywhere from $25,000 to $1 million in donations.
Nithyananda is wanted in India for multiple charges, including kidnapping, wrongful confinement, and rape. He is believed to be living in Ecuador and has denied any involvement in the scam.