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Feb 19, 2010 9:28 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Guru charged in sweat lodge deaths says he's broke

Motivational speaker James Arthur Ray, who claims his method creates wealth, now says he's broke and can't pay a $5 million bail in the deaths of three people at a sweat lodge ceremony.

Ray is charged with three counts of manslaughter and his attorney says the bail is "excessive and oppressive." He has pleaded not guilty.

In court documents Ray's lawyer says his client "is not a man of significant assets." Ray himself has touted his wealth and success in numerous media interviews and on his Web site, including an estimated $10 million in revenue in 2009.

But court documents claim he is severely in debt with a net worth of negative $4.2 million. Ray's attorneys say he's no threat or a flight risk. They plan to argue for a bail reduction Tuesday, or that Ray surrenders his passport and be released on his own recognizance.

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