On March 22, 2011, Life Bliss Foundation, Inc. filed a civil complaint against Aarthi S. Rao and others in the Superior Court of California, County of Riverside, with Case No. RIC1105004, alleging claims for misappropriation of trade secrets, theft and conversion of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, accounting, fraud and misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, intentional interference with contractual relationship, and tortious interference with prospective economic relationship.
The underlying facts are as follows: Ms. Rao was a teacher at Life Bliss Foundation beginning soon after it was incorporated in early 2006. She taught programs in the State of Michigan and in the State of Ohio. As part of those programs and her duties as an instructor, Ms. Rao was obligated to maintain strict confidentially of all membership information and report on a weekly basis to her supervisor or other designated person from Life Bliss Foundation. As it turns out, however, Ms. Rao’s representations were false when made and were made with the intention that Life Bliss Foundation would rely on them, give Ms. Rao access to and disclose to her its confidential information, and provide her with free training and programs. In 2009, Ms. Rao joined and began teaching at Sun Moon Yoga, a for-profit yoga company. To the detriment of Life Bliss Foundation, Ms. Rao used the donor lists and yoga and meditation techniques disclosed to her to divert members, donors, and participants to Sun Moon Yoga. In addition, around that same time or soon thereafter, Ms. Rao entered into a conspiracy with others to damage Life Bliss Foundation and usurp its clients by secretly planting a video camera in the private quarters of Paramahamsa Nithyananda and recording him. Ms. Rao and her co-conspirators then retrieved and morphed the videotape footage to falsely portray his image. After extortion attempts, she and her co-conspirators ultimately released the doctored videotape to news media, publications and Internet, which made it public in March 2010. The release of the doctored videotape footage caused substantial damages to Life Bliss Foundation, Inc.
Ms. Rao subsequently made false accusations against Paramahamsa Nithyananda of abuse. Her allegations remain—just that—allegations. Undeniable medical evidences, eyewitness testimony and numerous other evidences prove her allegations are false and concocted.
Over the course of the civil action, Ms. Rao persistently failed and refused to participate in discovery, including in violation of court orders compelling her to do so. After the court ordered her to appear for deposition, Ms. Rao then filed a frivolous bankruptcy petition on November 1, 2011 in Michigan in order to stay the California civil action against her. That bankruptcy was dismissed on February 7, 2012 for her failure to appear for mandatory proceedings in her own bankruptcy and the civil action resumed (more details below).
However, Ms. Rao again refused to appear for deposition in the civil action, despite the court’s order. 1) On April 18, 2012, the California Court, determined that Ms. Rao willfully violated the Court’s orders and engaged in an abuse of the discovery process, which resulted in a default judgment entered against Ms. Rao and in favor of Life Bliss Foundation. Following a motion, the court then struck Ms. Rao’s answer to the complaint, entered her default, and sanctioned her $4,300. On June 25, 2013, the court then issued a court judgment against her in the amount of $25,610. To date, Ms. Rao has not paid the judgment.