Warrant Issued for Bikram Yoga Founder
Bikram Choudhury has been ordered to hand over millions
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 25, 2017 1:48 PM CDT
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In this Sept. 27, 2003, file photo, Bikram Choudhury, front, founder of the Yoga College of India and creator and producer of Yoga Expo 2003, leads a yoga class at the Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center.    (Reed Saxon)

(Newser) – A California judge on Wednesday issued an arrest warrant for the founder of Bikram yoga, who's been ordered to hand over proceeds from his global fitness business to satisfy a $6.8 million judgment won by a former legal adviser. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Edward Moreton issued the warrant for Bikram Choudhury and set bail at $8 million, the AP reports. No lawyers appeared for Choudhury, who claimed last year he was nearly bankrupt. The award was won by Minakshi "Micki" Jafa-Bodden, who claimed Choudhury fired her when she refused to help him cover up a rape allegation. Jafa-Bodden also said Choudhury sexually harassed and inappropriately touched her, and tried to get her to stay with him in a hotel suite.

Jafa-Bodden worked as head of legal and international affairs at Choudhury's Los Angeles yoga school from spring 2011 until March 2013, when she said she was abruptly fired from her six-figure position. She called it a "great day for women" when she was awarded a victory over Choudhury. Her attorney, Carla Minnard, says they've tracked luxury vehicles and other property that Choudhury moved out of state and have court orders in Nevada and Florida preventing him from moving property from warehouses. Choudhury, whose yoga technique is taught at more than 650 studios worldwide, faces sexual assault lawsuits filed by six other women, five of whom accuse Choudhury of raping them. One of those lawsuits is in the process of being settled while the rest are set for trial later this year.

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