Asumal Sirumalani, who became known as self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, has a net worth of around Rs 10,000 crore, according to a 2014 Press Trust of India report.
The self-styled godman, who has been convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl in 2013, worked as a tonga-puller for two years in Ajmer, which is located in India's northern state of Rajasthan. He then launched himself as the spiritual guru in the 1960s and established more than 400 ashrams in the country and internationally.
During a raid in 2014, city commissioner of police Rakesh Asthana had revealed that the godman's bond and other investments are valued at around Rs 10,000 crore, which excludes the value of his lands.
"The scrutiny of documents recovered during the raid has established that wealth of Asaram's ashrams in the form of bank accounts and other investments including shares, debentures and government bonds (excluding land) is valued at Rs 9,000-Rs 10,000 crore," Asthana told reporters in 2014.
Police found out thousands of documents of his financial transactions that were brought in more than 40 big bags. In Gujarat, he owned land at around 45 places and 33 places across four other states, including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
According to the Indian Express, the godman had kept the undisclosed income of Rs 2,300 crore hidden from the income tax department. The IT department also found out benami investment linked to him and his followers. The investments were made in real estate, mutual funds, shares, Kisan Vikas Patras and fixed deposits.
He also offered cash loans to individuals and entities with the help of his followers. "The money was loaned in cash, with post-dated cheques, promissory notes and land-purchase deeds as security. We suspect that the scheme was used by Asaram and his followers to conceal donations received by the ashrams," the publication quoted I-T sources as saying.
According to a 2013 document obtained by IT department, Asaram earned an interest amount of around Rs 419 crore in a year and kept Rs 163 crore as cash in hand.
Asram had numerous high-profile followers and that included former MP chief minister Uma Bharti, Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. It was also reported that he was in the good books of prime minister Narendra Modi.