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Former W.Va. Krishna leader dies in India at 74

Biographer: Disgraced former leader of W.Va. Hare Krishna community dead at 74 in India By The Associated Press

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) ' Swami Bhaktipada (BOK'-tee-pah-duh), the disgraced former leader of a West Virginia Hare Krishna community, has died in India. He was 74.

Spokesman Henry Doktorski says Bhaktipada was hospitalized in India in July with a collapsed lung and bleeding brain. Doktorski says Bhaktipada died Monday.

Also known as Kirtanananda Swami, he was born Keith Ham in Peekskill, N.Y.

Bhaktipada ran the New Vrindaban community near Moundsville from the 1970s to the early 1990s.

In 1987, the FBI seized records in a raid. Federal prosecutors later accused of him of ordering the murders of two devotees who threatened his control and of amassing more than $10 million through illegal fundraising schemes.

Bhaktipada later served eight years in prison for racketeering.

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