LOS ANGELES (AP)  — A Los Angeles-based spiritual organization whose followers include Madonna and other celebrities is the focus of a federal tax evasion probe.

The Los Angeles Times reports Thursday that the Internal Revenue Service is investigating whether nonprofit funds from the Kabbalah Centre’s estimated $260 million in assets were used as a piggy bank by the family that runs it.

For more than 40 years, the Berg family has controlled the spiritual group that preaches a little-known strain of Jewish mysticism.

The Bergs and the Kabbalah Centre are named in subpoenas as a subject of a grand jury probe alongside Madonna’s Raising Malawi charity.

The charities say they are cooperating with the New York-based investigation.

A call to the Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles was not immediately returned Thursday night.

Madonna abandoned plans to build a girls school in Malawi earlier this year because of logistical problems. Her charity Raising Malawi is also cooperating in the investigation.

The federal investigation follows several lawsuits about the Centre’s finances. One ongoing case alleges the center wrongly cashed in on $2.9 million in a $68-million Ponzi scheme.

In another suit an heiress accused the Bergs and other Kabbalah Centre associates of bilking her out of $1.3 million.

A former member alleges she was pushed to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in an Orange County branch and a homeschooling program that never came to fruition. The Kabbalah Centre has called the suits meritless.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (223)
  1. Thomas Bleming says:

    Sounds like another YZer scam.
    Money laundering?
    A ‘$piritual group’?
    Better more like another YZer ponzi scheme.

  2. TheWindrunner says:

    Jews……Again? What’s that all about?

  3. OneTruth says:

    Kabbalah center in New York is a MONEY-HUNGRY CULT. Someone should shut them down. They are destroying people’s lives. the teachers there are experts at mind-control and are very crafty people. Among other things, they take your money but make it seem as if you want to give the money to them.

  4. Thomas Bleming says:

    “Money, money is our battle cry. Onward, onward to that gold mine in the sky”.
    (Part of the Yitzak motivational song “Money”)

  5. The Big Logic says:

    What’s the deal with money and the Jew? It’s nice to have enough to function in a prosperous manner, but what kind of mindset wants to have all of it? I’m starting to understand why aside from the kneegrow, the Jew is the most despised race on planet earth. That is of course if you consider the kneegrow a race.

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