Details of Gospel for Asia's 2014 Loan K.P. Yohannan Said Wouldn't Happen

Recently, I posted audio of Gospel for Asia founder and CEO K.P. Yohannan promising staff that GFA would not take out a loan in order to build the new Wills Point, TX headquarters and living compound. Eventually, Believers’ Church in India (K.P. Yohannan was managing trustee at the time and he is also the Metropolitan Bishop and spiritual leader of the church) gave GFA in the U.S. $19.8 million toward the project. The church had to borrow money to make this donation. Furthermore, I asserted that an $11.5 million loan was taken in 2014 with the money used for the project.
Today, I post evidence for the 2014 loan. Below are images from the 46 page Deed of Trust.
GFA borrowed $11.5 million.
DOT GFA 2014 Amt
GFA May Have Kept Some Information Back
The agreement was based on the use of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and pledges that all material statements are correct. This pledge may be in conflict with the audited financial statement for 2013 which failed to disclose that GFA made related party transactions to Believers’ Church, Love India Ministry and Last Hour Ministry.
Furthermore, the bank (City Bank) was not informed that $19.8 million toward the building project came from a loan taken in India by a related party (Believers’ Church). Speaking as a non-accountant, this seems to be a significant and material omission. City Bank did not know that an entity related to GFA had taken a loan in order to provide GFA with funds. If City Bank took the audit at face value, they would have considered that $19.8 million to be a gift with no relationship to GFA anywhere in the world. City Bank might have reconsidered if they knew that an affiliate of GFA (and recipient of millions in U.S. donations) had to take a loan in order to keep the construction project going.
The Bland Garvey 12/31/13 audit was completed in June 2014 and the Deed of Trust signed in July 2014. It is difficult, if not impossible, to imagine City Bank, an FDIC-regulated institution, making a $11.5 million loan in July 2014 without relying on the Bland Garvey audit report on the 12/31/13 GFA financial statements. That audit report included the misinformation on the source and nature of the $19.8 million previously raised and spent on the project.

Gospel for Asia's Auditor Retains Attorney for Some Reason

This is getting interesting.
On Tuesday afternoon, I contacted Bland Garvey, the accounting firm which did Gospel for Asia’s 2013 audit. I wanted to know if BG had been retained to do GFA’s 2014 audit and perhaps learn why the audit is not out yet. As I understand it, GFA has to turn in an audited financial statement by July 31 to the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability as a part of the requirements for membership. GFA is a charter member of ECFA. GFA has been referring to the organization’s membership in ECFA as a means of deflecting questions unaccounted for funds and so it is probably important to protect that membership.
When I called BG, I was referred to attorney Gary Kessler. I called and wrote Attorney Kessler with the following questions:

Is Bland Garvey doing the 2014 audit for Gospel for Asia? If not, why not?
If so, will BG correct the misstatements from the 2013 audit that GFA-US only gave money to GFA India and several other GFAs in Asia when in fact GFA-US also gave money to three other NGOs?
The amount of money GFA said they donated to GFA-India is millions more than what GFA-India reported to the Indian govt. Will BG mention this discrepancy?
Last years audit was complete by June 13; this years is much later. If BG is doing the audit then why has this audit been delayed.

He wrote back with the following:

Mr. Throckmorton,
Applicable law prevents a CPA from communicating the information you requested. I advise you to contact Gospel For Asia and obtain the information you seek.
Thank you.

I wrote back asking for citation of TX law that forbids BG from acknowledging their auditing relationship with GFA and asked if he was representing BG in any litigation. He wrote back to say:

Please contact Gospel for Asia for any information you desire regarding the organization. I will not be responding to any more of your requests.
Thank you.

And so Mr. Kessler joined a growing list of people from Texas who don’t want to talk to me.
Having looked at the CPA law, I can understand why BG cannot address all of my questions. However, just telling me that they are doing GFA’s audit isn’t as clear cut to me. According to TX law, if BG has told the anyone in the public that GFA is an audit client, then they are not required to withhold information. See this clause:

The provisions contained in subsection (a) of this section do not prohibit the disclosure of information already made public, including information disclosed to others not having a confidential communications relationship with the client or authorized representative of the client.

I already know BG did the 2013 audit so I know there was a relationship. And it is possible that others not now affiliated with GFA know if BG is auditing the books. This should be known soon enough because that audit should be available to the public if GFA wants to remain a member of ECFA. That is, of course, unless ECFA gives GFA a pass. Hopefully, then we will know if GFA corrects the misstatements in the 2013 audit.
What puzzles me is why BG didn’t just tell me that but instead referred me to an attorney who in turn referred me to GFA.

Why Doesn't Gospel for Asia Report All Related Party Transactions?

The only audited financial statement Gospel for Asia makes available is from 2012 and 2013. In that statement, Note H reports Related Party Transactions. Generally, organizations are expected to disclose transactions with other groups where there are common board members or other common elements. In Note H, GFA reports contributions of cash to five related parties, all GFA affiliates in Asia. However, GFA failed to report other related party transactions to Believers’ Church, Love India Ministry, and Last Hour Ministries. I assume that the $58 million GFA claims that it sent to GFA – India includes money sent to Believers’ Church, Love India Ministry, and Last Hour Ministries. It would be good for GFA to clarify this, especially considering the discrepancy between U.S. and Indian reports. Give notice to the first paragraph of Note H:
GFA Related Party Transactions 2013
Believers’ Church, Love India Ministry and Last Hour Ministries are related parties, so why were donations to those organizations not reported? All are controlled by K.P. Yohannan which makes these resources under his control in India. More troubling is the fact that the American and Indian reports do not match up. Just looking at calendar year 2013 receipts (from GFA’s FC-6 reports to the Indian government), only $28.6 million in contributions to the four organizations controlled by K.P. Yohannan show up. This is a nearly $30 million discrepancy.
If one just takes this audited statement as written (GFA – U.S. gave $58.5 million to GFA – India in 2013), then the problem is much worse. In the reports filed with the Indian government for GFA – India, just over $6.5 million is reported as received from GFA -U.S, a discrepancy of $52 million. I assume that $22 million of that went to Believers’ Church, Last Hour Ministry and Love India Ministry but the audited statement omits those facts.
The practical matter is that donors dollars intended for GFA may be paying the salaries of bishops and clergy within Believers’ Church, or ordination services such as the one where those ordained were expected to kiss the ring of K.P. Yohannan.  Some dollars indeed going to GFA affiliates in Asian nations but other dollars are going to a denomination with K.P Yohannan as Metropolitan with all the administrative, personnel, and other costs associated with it. Another practical matter is the millions of dollars which GFA claims were sent to GFA – India but don’t show up on Indian reports.
Legally, failure to report related party transactions can be a big deal in the for profit world, but not so much in the non-profit sector. The issue is about why GFA and/or Bland Garvey failed to report it. Is there some reason GFA doesn’t want donors to know the largest share of contributions go to Believers’ Church? Did GFA tell Bland Garvey about the other three related party transactions. Or did Bland Garvey omit that information?  And where is the $30-52 million which doesn’t show up on Indian reports?
As always, if GFA has information which are relevant to this post, I invite them to present them. I will always present their side or information the organizational leaders believe to be relevant.

Gospel for Asia Reports One Thing in American Audit, Another in Indian Reports

In addition to the usual income and expenses data, Gospel for Asia’s audited financial statement discloses related party transactions. As you can see from the image below, the direction of the transaction is from the U.S. to GFA affiliates in Asian countries with 96% going to India. In addition to GFA India, GFA in the U.S. claims contributions to GFA affiliates in Myanmar, Sr Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. See below:
GFA Related Party Transactions 2013GFA reports contributions to five related non-profits. However, in the Indian FC-6 report, three other charities — Believers’ Church, Love India Ministries, and Last Hour Ministries — report receiving contributions from GFA in America. In the audited financial statement above, GFA reports to Americans that the organization gave $58,542,900 to GFA India in calendar year 2013. However, in the FC-6 form filed to the Indian government, GFA – India reported that much less than $58 million was received. Just from the U.S., GFA – India reported that they received INR 404,638,271 which converts to $9,170,270 million USD during the period between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014 (see line 5 below).*
GFA FC6 Countries
GFA said in the audited financial statement over $58 million was sent to GFA India, but GFA in India reported only a little over $9 million being received (actually more like $6 million, see the last note below).**** So where is the rest of the money?
As I reported in a prior post, GFA in America also sent money to at least three other charities in India: Believers’ Church (INR 909,041,794 = $20,601,500), Love India Ministries (INR 162173900 = $3,675,330) and Last Hour Ministries (INR 161084820 = $3,650,650) (click the links for their FC-6 forms).  Looking at what came from the United States to all four of these entities, the total is $37,097,750 which still does not get us to the $58 million GFA claims came from the U.S.** It is possible that GFA – U.S. contributes to other ministries in India that have not been disclosed or discovered yet. However, just taking these reports at face value (what GFA says in the audited statement and what GFA tells the Indian government, there appears to be a significant discrepancy.
It is worth asking what Love India Ministries and Last Hour Ministries do. I can’t find a viable web presence for either entity and as far as I can determine, GFA does not mention them in their materials. They may be shell companies operating in name only, much like the 12 limited liability corporations in Texas mentioned in the audited financial statement which exist just to transfer money to the field.***
Thus, at least two problems emerge for GFA’s credibility. One, GFA claimed in the audited financial statement that it only contributed to “five related non-profit organizations.” However, GFA in the U.S. uses 12 LLCs to send money to at least three additional registered charities in India (Believers’ Church, Love India Ministries and Last Hour Ministries) which are not disclosed in the audited financial statement. Two, the amounts GFA says they send to GFA in India comes nowhere close to matching what GFA – India reports to the Indian government.
Thus far, GFA has remained silent in the face of questions regarding cash smurfing to India, video of Believers’ Church bishops bowing and kissing the ring of GFA president K.P. Yohannan in contradiction to Yohannan’s denials of the ritual, discrepancies in Bridge of Hope giving requests and spending, and cash hoarding in Indian bank accounts. These discrepancies being reported today now call into question the accuracy of the American audited financial statement. Silence may be a good PR strategy but it seems ill-suited for a Christian ministry.
*It seems very unlikely that the different reporting years explains the $ million difference. Both methods of accounting cover 12 month periods which report consistent monthly giving totals year over year.
**Contributions to GFA-India, Believers’ Church, Love India Ministries and Last Hour Ministries from all foreign sources (including interest on foreign contributions) totaled $54, 550,683 for fiscal year ending March 31, 2014, still less than the $58 million to India reported on the audited financial statement.
***As an aside, it is worth asking again why sending cash to India in student backpacks was ever done. GFA told students it is a way to get cash into India. As one can see from the financial statement, GFA set up 12 LLCs to transfer money, and even transferred $9 million at one point just to get better interest payments. There appears to be no problem getting money back and forth from India. 
****I remembered after doing the post that India’s FC-6 forms require a charity to record when the contributions are received. Thus, I was able to discern the amount sent during the calendar year 2013 but looking at the reports for the fiscal years 2012-2013 and 2013-2014. The situation is actually worse than I first reported. GFA – India reported that they received only $6 million in calendar year 2013. The American audit says GFA U.S. sent $58 million to GFA India in the calendar year but GFA India only reported $6 million in the same time span.