Posted: 5:35 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012

Historic downtown building shuttered

Third National Bank and Trust
Lisa Powell
Annamalai Annamalai, also known as Dr. Commander Selvam, has closed the Third National Bank and Trust (formerly Key Bank) in downtown Dayton. He is also auctioning off the equipment and furnishings of its street-level businesses. Attempts to reach Annamalai, 47, for comment were unsuccessful.

By Tom Beyerlein

Staff Writer

The self-proclaimed Hindu guru from Georgia who bought the historic Third National Bank and Trust building in the heart of downtown Dayton two years ago has shuttered the building and is auctioning off the equipment and furnishings of its street-level businesses.

Montgomery County auditor’s records show there are more than $124,000 in delinquent property taxes owed for the 1926-vintage building at 34 N. Main St., and no taxes have been paid for the 2010 and 2011 tax years.

Annamalai Annamalai, the controversial guru who calls himself Dr. Commander Selvam and Swamiji Sri Siddhar Selvam, bought the building, valued at $1 million, for $525,000 in August 2010. County records show his Paru Selvam LLC, which was dissolved in August, transferred the property to Siddhar Peedham of Baytown, Texas, in April. His LinkedIn account shows that Swamiji Sri Siddhar Selvam is chairman of the Siddhar Peedham Group of Temples.

On the same day in April, one of Annamalai’s companies transferred a flea market at 2222 Olive Road to Siddhar Peedham. On Sept. 20, Siddhar Peedham sold the flea market for $95,000 to a limited liability company called 2222 Olive Road LLC. Signage at the property indicates it is open for business on Saturdays and Sundays. Annamalai had established a Hindu temple on part of the property.

Attempts to reach Annamalai, 47, for comment Tuesday were unsuccessful.

According to a sign posted in the window at the old bank building — which Annamalai renamed Paru Tower — restaurant, bar and grocery-store fixtures are up for auction from the businesses Annamalai opened on the ground floor of the 14-story building. There will be an open house Sunday from 1-4 p.m. to view the items available for auction, including ovens, tables, stools, a digital jukebox and a disco ball, the sign indicates.

The downtown building was last used as a bank by Key Bank, which moved across Main Street to Courthouse Square.

Annamalai came to Dayton from the Atlanta area, where he faced criminal charges, later dismissed, alleging theft involving credit card transactions and practicing medicine without a license. By the time he came to Dayton in the summer of 2010, he had filed at least 20 defamation lawsuits in four Georgia counties against former religious devotees and media organizations. One lawsuit against Annamalai claimed he “fraudulently” overcharged credit cards for religious services such as funerals and prayers, or for services he never performed.

Annamalai lost his Georgia temple to bankruptcy, then opened a temple on the Olive Road flea market property. The website, which features a photo of Annamalai, lists temples in Ohio, California, New York, Virginia, Texas, Georgia and India.


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