Worcester Buddhist Temple Wins Lawsuit Against Ex-Leader

April 14, 2010

Author: Gary V. Murray

Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette


A jury has awarded $300,000 to a Buddhist temple on Dewey Street in a civil lawsuit accusing its former spiritual leader of wrongfully using its assets to buy a Braintree temple, which he later sold for $10 to a corporation he owns. 

A Worcester Superior Court jury found Monday that Nam Thai, formerly a monk at the Pho Hien Buddhist Meditation Temple at 96 Dewey St., breached his fiduciary duty to the temple in 2001 when he used $65,000 of the congregation's money as a down payment for a temple in Braintree called Samanta Bhadras Buddhist Center Inc. 

Mr. Thai then secured a mortgage for the Braintree temple in the Worcester temple's name and, in 2005, sold the Braintree temple for $10 to a corporation over which he had exclusive control, according to the 2007 lawsuit.