Thursday April 18, 2024

Atlantic Council terminates relation with donor after fraud expose

By Murtaza Ali Shah
March 02, 2024
Gaurav Srivastava, the Indian-American businessman. — Tribune India
Gaurav Srivastava, the Indian-American businessman. — Tribune India

LONDON: The Atlantic Council has confirmed it has terminated its relationship with a major donor, Gaurav Srivastava, after the Indian-American businessman was exposed as involved in several fraudulent activities.

The leading American think-tank said it decided to terminate its relationship with Gaurav Srivastava, his wife Sharon and their charitable organisation The Gaurav & Sharon Srivastava Family Foundation after the think tank couldn’t confirm important details of their background in its donor vetting process. Srivastava and his wife Sharon donated at least $1 million to the think tank for its Global Food Security Forum in Bali in November 2022.

“All funds received by the Atlantic Council from Mr Srivastava for the Global Food Security Forum were dedicated to and used for the event,” a spokesperson for the Atlantic Council said. “We did, however, return funding received from Mr Srivastava in 2023 for future collaboration.”

“We made the decision to terminate our relationship with Mr Srivastava upon learning new information because of our donor review process. For example, we learned that The Gaurav & Sharon Srivastava Family Foundation was not an established 501(c)(3) [non-profit organization] in April of 2023, despite Mr Srivastava’s representation to the Council that this was a registered foundation,” the spokesperson said.

In an attempt to distance Srivastava from these allegations of misrepresentation, the businessman’s lawyer claimed the termination was “related to a gift in respect of a subsequent project, as to which the parties disagreed on the manner of its implementation whereupon $500,000 given in advance was returned.”

The Atlantic Council was facing questions and mounting criticism after the discovery that one of its major donors, Gaurav Kumar Srivastava, was involved in large scale scams, some of which include using the name of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to make money fraudulently.Gaurav Srivastava, an Indian businessman living in America, is accused of orchestrating international scams in which he claimed to be an undercover CIA operative to defraud international businessmen.

The Atlantic Council hosted its 2022 Global Food Security Forum in Bali, sponsored with more than $1 million by the Gaurav & Sharon Srivastava Foundation, an alleged non-profit NGO run by Srivastava with his wife Sharon Srivastava (née Johnson) where Srivastava paid a panel of experts to discuss global food security.