8th District Court of Appeals Denies Gospel for Asia’s Petition for Writ of Mandamus

Today, the 8th District Court of Appeals denied the petition from Gospel for Asia a writ of mandamus which would have vacated Judge Timothy Brooks order for sanctions and the appointment of a special master to oversee discovery in the fraud case against GFA.

The denial in full is as follows:

No: 18-2322
In re: Gospel for ASIA, Inc.; Gospel for Asia-International; K.P. Yohannan; Gisela Punnose; Daniel Punnose; David Carroll; Pat Emerick
Appeal from U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas – Fayetteville
Before BENTON, KELLY and GRASZ, Circuit Judges.
Petition for writ of mandamus has been considered by the court and is denied. The petitionersā€™ motion to seal appendix is denied. Mandate shall issue forthwith.

June 26, 2018

This will allow the sanctions from Judge Brooks to go forward and is a victory for the Murphys. If Judge Brooks follows through, then a special master will be appointed with full access to the records of GFA thus allowing discovery to proceed.

Gospel for Asia will have to absorb the cost of the special master and should alert donors to this reality. A federal district judge and now a Court of Appeals (along with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability) have taken the position that GFA is not being forthcoming with information.

We may be getting closer to learning if there is any evidence to validate GFA’s claims that they have spent money as donors intend. The plaintiffs contend GFA’s leaders conspired to divert donations from intended causes such mission work or helping the poor to for profit enterprises or other purposes which donors didn’t intend. Now that the Court of Appeals has cleared the way for discovery to proceed, the plaintiffs and eventually the donor public may get to see exactly what GFA has done with millions in donations.


14 thoughts on “8th District Court of Appeals Denies Gospel for Asia’s Petition for Writ of Mandamus”

  1. I looked back at an order from Judge Brooks dated June 4th. In it, the judge quoted GFA attorney Mowrey as saying there were hundreds and hundreds of notebooks in India, in various locations with receipts. It seems like GFA doesn’t know the location of any specific receipt or transaction.

    If they’ve never been able to locate receipts for specific transactions, isn’t that admitting they did not have control over expenditures while they were promising donations would go to certain items? No one in India was required to email a receipt back to TX like I have to do with my work expense report?

    1. They are effectively admitting they haven’t had proper oversight, despite telling donors and the ECFA all about how they maintain accountability.

      1. Yes exactly. I wonder what’s going to happen with the special master? Can he or she get legal access to records in another country? Has it been established there are no records in Texas?

  2. Another non-lawyer here … what is the reference that request to seal appendix is denied?

  3. I’m no lawyer, but is it normal to simply say “appeal denied” without giving the legal reasoning?

    1. The appendix was over 400 pages of documents from the last 8 months or so of the trial. It was a summary designed to have all pertinent documents all in one place for the Court of Appeals. For some reason GFA wanted it sealed. The CoA denied that request. GFA was shut down yesterday. For their millions (probably) in legal fees, they are getting nothing.

      1. Not quite nothing. They are getting a lot of delays in the court proceedings (and preventing others from getting access to their records). although it is costing them now, such delays can be invaluable to organizations that need time to hide their money and/or doctor their books.

        1. Good point. They may very well be doing that doctoring and I suspect money is being/has been moved.

          1. And money is continuing to flow in to the tune of several million dollar every month.

  4. writ of man dam us? Helen Hunt will not be happy, she will want to know which man is damning us. šŸ™

  5. I am surprised at how fast this has happened. Is the Federal Court system starting to wise up to the extremely obvious fraud?

    1. The appeal was without merit. Desperate tactics to delay. I’m so glad the judges can see through the obfuscation.

    2. The appeal was without merit. Desperate tactics to delay. I’m so glad the judges can see through the obfuscation.

    3. That was my first thought, too. I didn’t think courts generally worked that fast. Perhaps they saw the lack of merits pretty quickly as they read through the documentation?

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