Hansadutta to rescind the BBT settlement agreement
"Also none of the Settlement monies were paid to me other than to cover whatever obligation I may have had to Mr. Fedorowsky. This leaves me no alternative than to rescind the settlement agreement and withdraw my resignation pursuant to which you were appointed trustees of the trust and I must reassert my position as trustee of the trust." Hansadutta das
Letter To Trustees Of Bhativedanta Book Trust
BY HANSDUTTA DAS - Hans Kary April 17, 2002
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
Los Angeles CA, 90002
Dear Trustees of Bhativedanta Book Trust,
I am writing you this letter as the settlement agreement we entered into has failed to produce the benefit that I expected, or any benefit at all from my perspective.
This is to notify you that inasmuch as your organization has never given me a license to print the original books of Srila Prabhupada but rather the license has been given to Krsna Books Inc. the formation of which has been proven in court proceedings to be a fraud practiced by my attorney Joseph Fedorowsky (See California State Bar Complaint Case No. 99-0-11217, See Overview of Complaint attached as Exhibit 1).
Also none of the Settlement monies were paid to me other than to cover whatever obligation I may have had to Mr. Fedorowsky. This leaves me no alternative than to rescind the settlement agreement and withdraw my resignation pursuant to which you were appointed trustees of the trust and I must reassert my position as trustee of the trust.
Since the Settlement Agreement has been invalidated I have no alternative but to reassert my duties as trustee. I will now perform my responsibilities as trustee.
In order for me to show consistency in the management of the trust I am requesting that you provide me with copies of all documents in your possession which show your performance of these duties during the time that I have been inactive due to being misled by the Settlement Agreement.
Original Trustee of Bhativedanta Book Trust
BACK TO THE BEGINNING
"Hansadutta hired Fedorowsky aka. Gupta das. Fedorowsky did not hire Hansadutta. Why did Hansadutta hire Fedorowsky? To defend himself from BBTI/ ISKCON who claimed there was no BBT trust ever legally established, therefore there was no Trusteeship in the name of Hansadutta das." Hansadutta das
There was never any question of Fedorowsky being a trustee, or of being given a license to print Srila Prabhupada's books.. That was purely an ambition on his part and later on the part of his fellow conspirators.
A client hires a brick layer to build a house--after completion, the house does not belong to Mr. brick layer no matter how nicely he might have done the work. A client hires a real estate agent to negotiate the purchase of a house for him. When completed, the house belongs to the client, not to the real estate agent, no matter how good a deal he may have secured for his client. Here we have the brick layer (Fedorowsky) moving into the house and claiming it for himself, or the real estate agent claiming the negotiated settlement of a property as his own. This is essentially the position that has been taken by Fedorowsky.
A lawyer (Fedorowsky) is more or less as clerk who is hired by a client to do the legal rituals and procedures necessary to satisfy the bureaucracy of the legal world, in order for the client to establish his legal position. It is a job of filling out legal forms, writing legal briefs, filling and shuffling legal papers according to the rules and regulations of the legal world. It is the job of a glorified clerk or secretary.
Under my direction, Joseph Fedorowsky was engaged as a karmi lawyer (retained for an hourly a fee, not devotional service to Prabhupada or Krsna) to write, shuffle and file the appropriate papers at the appropriate times and places to obtain the appropriate legal result. That result was to show, that Srila Prabhupada did in fact legally establish the BBT, holder of his copyrighted works, and that Hansadutta was the legally appointed life long trustee of this BBT trust and furthermore that the "BBT International" was in fact a fraudulently conceived corporation that had illegally converted the copyrights of the legal BBT of Srila Prabhupada without legal authority.
Normally as disciples of Srila Prabhupada this exercise in mundane (karmi) law would not have been necessary because as disciples of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada we are supposed to live by the order of the spiritual master, and resolve everything between ourselves on the basis of "Love and Trust." However it was ISKCON and BBTI who choose to descend to the material platform and place the conflict amongst devotees before a karmi court authority for resolution, instead of resolving the conflict on the platform of love and trust, under the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada--which would have been cheaper, more effective and ultimately pleasing to Srila Prabhupada. Fedorowsky managed to come up with a legal fee of more than $ 644,000.00 as compensation for what he claimed was his "devotional service.” ISKCON and BBTI had to pay out untold amounts (suspected to have come to a million dollars or more) to Amarendra Prabhu and Akruranath das aka. Bernstein, of the prestigious law firm "Coudert Bros." Not to mention the loss of sleep and time taken away from factual, positive devotional service over a period of years.
In spite of past failure and mistakes on my part, the record of my devotional service speaks for itself. From the day I came to Srila Prabhupada I have been printing books in one way or another, opening centers, recruiting devotees, and teaching various techniques of book distribution. I regret that at times I was off the mark. Nevertheless, when the matter of my BBT trusteeship was taken before the karmi authorities, rather than settled amongst the devotees, I had no choice but to deal with the situation accordingly "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." But after everything is said and done, we are not Romans, we are Krishna's or better, we are Prabhupada's, we are BHAKTIVEDANTAS, and no amount of legal wrangling or word jugglery can ever supercede this fact.
Therefore, since you insist on maintaining support for the cunning, deceptive and ambitious behavior of Fedorowsky, who claims to be the legitimate holder of the KBI publishing license, and who has forsaken the shelter of Srila Prabhupada, and dismissed my spiritually legitimate claim as the bona fide BBT trustee of the BBT trust set up by Srila Prabhupada, I have no alternative than to reject the settlement we entered into at the conclusion of our legal dispute in 1998. I have already sent the attached letter to Svavas Prabhu, BBT director and President of ISKCON Los Angeles temple.
I consider all agreements entered into at that time under the advice of my attorney Joseph Fedorowsky to be null and void and thus resume my office and claim as the legal BBT representative.
Yours in Srila Prabhupada's service,
A complaint to the Bar association against Mr. Fedorowsky has been filed.
Summary: Mr. Fedorowsky breached his duty by:
1) Disclosing confidential client information
2) Converting $100,000.00 in investment funds
3) Unilaterally taking $60,000.00 out of the settlement money
4) Adding a person to the action without full disclosure
5) Failing to advise his five clients of potential conflicts
6) Taking a position contrary to the interest of his client
7) Double billing(five clients) and charging an unconscionable fee ($644,051.28)
8) Breaching the terms of the fee agreement
9) Breaching his fiduciary duty as a trustee
10) Failing to give notices before entering into business relationship with clients.
"Gupta is a practicing attorney paid for by "GBC" of West Bengal and BBTI at least the last 10 years. Hence, his "opinions" are naturally skewed. He got the $350,000 settlement money from the Hansadutta case in 1998 from the BBTI, as per the California Bar Association's records, while they suspended him in 2004."
California Bar Journal Discipline Summaries
- JOSEPH FEDOROWSKY
Summaries from the California Bar Journal are based on discipline orders but are not the official records. Not all discipline actions have associated CBJ summaries. Copies of official attorney discipline records are available upon request.
June 18, 2004
JOSEPH FEDOROWSKY [#133200], 53, of Marina del Rey was suspended for six months, stayed, placed on two years of probation with an actual 30-day suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect June 18, 2004.
Fedorowsky stipulated that he breached his fiduciary duty to an associate of his client by using some of the associate’s money for legal fees owed by the client.
He represented a defendant in a charitable trust matter that involved ownership and publication rights to the Hare Krishna movement’s spiritual texts. The texts originally were placed in a California charitable trust – the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Inc. (BBTI) – by the founder of the movement. Fedorowsky represented an individual who claimed to be a trustee of the original trust.
To help with legal fees, the client’s associate and disciple entered into an investment contract with Fedorowsky providing him $100,000 to manage and invest. Under the investment contract, a specified portion of any profit earned by the investment would be used as partial payment of Fedorowsky’s legal fees.
Fedorowsky managed the money properly, with one exception, and he pursued the litigation diligently. However, the investment did not generate as much income as Fedorowsky and the investor had hoped, and the litigation became increasingly expensive.
As the case progressed, Fedorowsky understood both the client and the discipline/investor wanted him to continue his representation and he says they assured him additional funds would be made available. Based on those assurances, the client’s understanding the Fedorowsky needed at least partial payment of his fee, Fedorowsky came to understand that the investor had, in essence, altered their agreement in a way that allowed him to apply the $100,000 toward his fee. According to the stipulation, he had “a good faith, but unreasonable, belief that he was entitled to apply [the] $100,000 to the payment of his legal fees without written or express authorization.”
He settled the matter favorably, winning among other things payment of $350,000 for legal fees. $300,000 of that was received and transferred to a trust managed by Fedorowsky, the disciple who provided the $100,000 and others. Fedorowsky contends he was owed $600,000 in fees, but offered to take less because he considered his clients to be friends.
Over time, acrimony arose among the parties and Fedorowsky received nothing. The disciple demanded the return of the $100,000 which Fedorowsky refused, believing that reimbursement should have been obtained from the settlement trust. Fedorowsky sued his former client, the disciple and several others for his fees and was awarded more than $300,000 by an arbitration panel. At the time of the stipulation, he was still owed $92,000.
He stipulated that by taking the $100,000 and applying it to his client’s legal bill without the investor’s express authorization, he breached his fiduciary duty.
In mitigation, Fedorowsky had no record of discipline and he cooperated with the bar’s investigation.