Thursday, May 2, 2013

How Sudipta Sen’s plan stumped Sebi

Kolkata: Ponzi mastermind Sudipta Sen can claim a mention in the record books as the fastest fund operator to have parked his ill gotten money in as many as 250 companies within and outside the Saradha Group. Even his cook Hemanta Pradhan was made a director in 96 companies, across all major trades under the sun.

Investigation into the Saradha scam has revealed how Sen went on a takeover spree — picking up major shares in listed companies — to hide his assets from the Sebi scanner.

For instance, Sen and his aide Debjani Mukherjee took over Vibgyor Media for Rs 2 crore and became its directors. Since Vibgyor had 17% stakes in Bio White Gold, the two became shareholders of the listed company. Sen and Debjani sold the shares to Suryamukhi General Finance within a few months, shifting all the money from selling the shares to a secret account, say sources. The operation was planned so meticulously that investigators are going through sleepless nights trying to locate the hidden accounts.

Interestingly, his entry and exit from each company took place within a financial year —usually before the end of the fiscal — so that when companies filed their annual report to the registrar of companies, Sen was out with his crores parked elsewhere. The sole purpose was to avoid financial surveillance.

Why did Sen take this route? 
Documents with TOI reveal that Sebi started following his companies in April 2010. Within nine months, Sen launched his strategy to hoodwink Sebi — he started floating or acquiring companies in a frenzy. In December he owned 25 such companies, and 90 in January 2011. Between January and February 2011, Debjani became director of 40 companies and Sen’s son Subhojit became director of around 30 companies. Sen started entering the equity market through these companies.

Police question TMC MP Kunal Ghosh
Kolkata: Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh was questioned by police for two hours on Monday in the Saradha meltdown probe even as two fresh complaints were lodged by former employees of Channel 10 and Sakalbela. Ghosh was the CEO of the Saradha Group Media. He insisted he was “merely a salaried employee”.
Rohit Khanna TNN

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