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Dark Side Of American Telugu Associations

Dark Side Of American Telugu Associations

It was not known to the outer world until a few days ago that a popular Telugu Association in the USA was blacklisted 5 years ago by an internationally reputed MNC for giving Matching Grants, knowing that it is miusing the funds. 

But now this news has come out amidst the ongoing crisis in different Telugu Associations with the investigation of authorities going on in the matter of misusing the Matching Grants ecosystem.

A Telugu employee in the senior management of the top-tier category in an MNC was kept on administrative leave, and his phone was surrendered to the company. There are suspicions that he might have orchestrated a matching fraud scam, and to know if he is really guilty, his WhatsApp chats are being restored by the authorities. As per our sources there are aboout 30 employees in this situation and many may follow suit. 

It all happened when an MNC from the Bay Area came out as a whistleblower and reported to IRS, stating that hundreds of their employees have been donating funds only to particular Telugu organizations and also got a hint that the organizations are paying them back in cash, thereby focusing only on exploiting the matching grants. IRS probed into the case and roped in FBI to investigate further.

There is a rule that nonprofit organizations should run with meticulous rudiments and abide by the law while spending the funds. They are not even supposed to spend the funds on a beer bottle as well. The accounting should be very clean, and now the authorities are keen on knowing any misuse of funds in detail.

An insider from a Telugu Association said, "The Telugu Associations do a lot of charity, community support and helping, giving scholarships to the deserving talented students, medical aid in emergencies, and also serving as a bridge between the Telugus living in the USA and their family members in India, in case of any unforeseen emergency". 

He continued to say, "This entire mission needs lots of money, and there are only a few Telugus who can really contribute huge. That wouldn't meet the intended goal. The small and mid-range employees here cannot afford to donate thousands of dollars to Associations. Therefore, these associations receive funds from them through legitimate channels and promptly return them in cash, aiming to qualify for matching grants from their respective companies. It has become a 'necessary evil' to continue the mission."

When probed, he also said that similar activity was carried out during Chandrababu's regime in AP where a program by the name Janmabhoomi-Maa Ooru was started.

"There was a huge campaign at that time that the digital classes for students, development of the village, etc., would be carried out in AP in the name of Janamabhoomi-Maa Ooru. Even then, these matching grants were exploited by the Telugu Association heads who were connected to Telugu Desam Party and minted millionsof dollars in personal level scamming the American Companies in a big way," he shared.

It should be underscored here that some NRIs boasted that many development activities were carried out in villages of AP, but all that is funded by the MNCs. The NRIs carry out those activities in their name, thereby increasing their influence with the local government and the people in general.

"Once upon a time Telugu Associations in America were respectful as long as they were run by Doctors. But post-2000s when the associations have come into the hands of IT professionals, they started exploiting every loophole around and thereby spoiled the image of all the associations," he lamented.

Another insider says that a single panel in a popular Telugu Association has spent around USD 1.5 Million to 2 Million in the recent election. Such a huge collection happened by the exploitation of the matching grants system, he points out.

The misdeeds of some Telugu Association heads have gone to an extent of creating fake members. A key person of an association created 10,000 fake votes, and that is the reason his panel gets reelected again and again. 

Some children of the Telugus don't even know that they are part of some association, but their votes will be cast for every election which are on their name and ID. That's the pitiable situation of Telugu Associations now. 

Why would there be such desperation for position and safeguarding it with fake votes when there is no financial gain involved? If probed in detail, the black sheep would come out, and all the nefarious activities would be unleashed.


Tags: IRS FBI American Telugu Associations Matching grant