Ponzi scam: ED attaches assets worth ₹35.7 crore

Case relates to allegations of cheating by Vikram Investments which assured huge returns to investors

The Enforcement Directorate, which is investigating a ponzi investment scheme scam, has provisionally attached assets worth ₹35.7 crore of Vikram Investments and other associates under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The attached immovable properties, which include land, office spaces and residential flats across Bengaluru, have a value of ₹34.21 crore. Moveable assets that have also been attached are in the form of bank balance and fixed deposits of ₹1.49 crore, stated the ED in a release.

Enforcement Directorate officials had initiated a money laundering investigation on the basis of an FIR registered in March 2018 by the Banashankari police against partners and other associates of Vikram Investments: Raghavendra Srinath, K.P. Narasimhamurthy, M. Prahlada, K.C. Nagaraj and Sutram Suresh.

They allegedly cheated the general public by luring them to invest in Vikram Investments, promising high returns to the extent of 25-30% per annum under the guise of commodity trading.

However, they are not registered with any of the regulatory agencies. The firm earned the trust of their clients by ensuring that they got the first payment of returns as promised. As a result, many clients invested more of their money with them. At some point, the firm stopped issuing returns and allegedly did not release the principal amount either.

High-profile personalities also invested in his scheme in the hope of earning huge returns. Initial investigations suggests that around 2,420 persons had invested in the said entity and total investment was around ₹417 crore out of which around ₹ 331 crore were paid to the clients as profits and remaining ₹86 crore had been embezzled by Raghavendra Srinath and his associates, stated the ED.

During the course of investigation, it came to notice that Raghavendra Srinath had deliberately delivered huge amount of net profit of around ₹35 crore to one Mr. R. Krishna. Further investigation is under progress.

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