A Chinese court has sentenced two men to death in the 2013 killing of Akong Rinpoche, a well-known religious figure who founded the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the West.

Thubten Kunsal, a Tibetan man who had worked at Akong's monastery in the United Kingdom for nine years, fatally stabbed Akong, his nephew and his driver after confronting the monk at his home in the city of Chengdu over unpaid wages totaling $415,000, according to a statement Sunday by the Chengdu People's Intermediate Court.

Thubten and another man, Ciren Banyue, were given the death penalty while a third man was sentenced to three years' prison for hiding daggers used in the killings.

Akong's monastery Kagyu Samye Ling, which has branches in several European countries, has denied it owed Thubten pay.