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Public Guardian report reveals concerns about mishandling of funds

by Mindy Aguon

Guam - An independent investigation conducted by the Public Guardian has confirmed that a significant amount of P.D. Hemlani's fortune didn't go to its intended purpose and was instead stolen by a few individuals from the underserved in Guam, the CNMI, and in India.

Nearly two years ago Public Guardian Marcelene Santos, was appointed by the Superior Court to serve as Radhi Hemlani's guardian. Radhi was married to Puranchand Hemlani, who died back in 2004. P.D. was a self-made, well-respected businessman who amassed a fortune worth tens of millions of dollars. before he died P.S. created the Radhi Puran trust and the Radhi Foundation - spelling out how he wished for his estimated $55 million fortune to be distributed. 25% of the funds were to go to India to fulfill Puran's wishes to build a children's school in the area where he grew up. the remainder of the money was to go to charitable organizations on Guam and in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands as a way of giving back to the very communities that made him so wealthy.

But while on his death bed, certain changes were made to allow certain individuals to gain control of the trust to their benefit and additional amendments were made even after his passing.

And over the course of the next few years a select group did away with the Foundation and purportedly took millions for themselves - essentially stealing from the underserved that p.d. Hemlani wanted to help.

The P.D. Hemlani foundation has actually sued these individuals in a civil case filed in the District Court.  the case specifically names Radhi's nephews, Manu Melwani, Ishwar Hemlani, Radhi's foundation, Pacific American Title Insurance and Escrow Company, Sparkman Agents Limited, PCS Limited, David Burger, Stewart Title Guaranty, and others. The District Court lawsuit aims to protect the intended beneficiaries of the Hemlani's estate plan which include the most needy on Guam, the CNMI and India from a group of people who, "Have been deceitfully taking for themselves millions of dollars worth of assets that were supposed to benefit Radhi Hemlani during her lifetime and then to charity."

It's been alleged that Manu and Ishwar from 2004 until present engineered a deceitful scheme to corrupt their uncle and aunt's estate plan by unlawfully looting millions in assets, depleting the trust and resulting in serious harm to the trusts' beneficiaries.

The suit claims the defendants have taken over, dismantled and terminated the very foundation that P.D. Hemlani created to give back his fortunes.

Details of some of that illegal activity have been made public with the filing of the Public Guardian's report in the Superior Court as Santos lays out an alleged scheme by Manu and others to take money from the trust and move it to Radhi's personal account for various uses such as paying for Manu's attorneys fees and writing checks for large sums to corporations that no longer exist.

In fact, the probe raised so many concerns, Public Guardian Santos has asked the court to safeguard any remaining property held by the Radhi Puran trust, the Radhi Foundation and her client's estate to ensure that her charitable and personal intentions are fulfilled. Sadly Radhi passed away in August, but not before much of her own personal money had been used to make others wealthier and her property left for the benefit of a few.

In the report Santos accuses Manu of being paid $1.3 million in fees in violation of Guam law and suggests the appearance of impropriety on the part of several local attorneys and an accountant. Radhi amended her will in November 2011 and the deeds of gifts were all handwritten by Manu and instead of the money being given to charity, it was to go to relatives.

Santos also unveiled a scheme that she believes allowed Manu to sell Radhi's three Agana Beach condo units for $2.6 million in violation of the guardianship court order and then give a half-million dollars away to several of her relatives each after she died.

Santos also found a handwritten note from Manu that gives monthly income from the Radhi Puran building to five people equally every month - among them Manu and Ishwar. The note shows Radhi's shaky handwritten note, "I agree to Manu".

The probe also found questionable accounting practices and insurance policies as well as various loans given to relatives that have gone unpaid and much more-all money that was intended to go to charity.

The Public Guardian requested that the Superior Court invalidate the changes that were made on P.D. Hemlani's death bed as well as cancel deeds transferring properties in violation of a court order and appoint a receiver or trustee to oversee the trust property.

It's a similar request that's been made by the Foundation that wants to preserve the charitable intentions and ensure that any money that has been stolen and taken from the trust beneficiaries be paid back and properties returned for the benefit of the underserved that P.D. and Radhi Hemlani intended to help.

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