Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Auram scam: Execs diverted funds, say cops

MUMBAI: Police investigation into a cheating case registered against Auram Realty has revealed that the directors diverted the money collected from investors into setting up hotels, constructing buildings and financing C-grade movies and music albums. The directors also purchased high-end vehicles — BMW, Audi, Tavera, Honda City and Honda Accords — and bought gold worth Rs 35 lakh.

The economic offences wing (EOW) recently arrested two of the directors, Jignesh Rathod (35) and Shafiq Shaikh (32). The EOW is looking for six more directors — Sandeep Shukla, Manoj Shukla, Hemant Jaswantrai Mehta, Subhash Prahraj, Abhijit Gavande and his wife Kajal Gavande.

Sandeep, promoter of Leo 1 Productions, was the financier of the second season of a popular reality show. The bank accounts revealed a cash transfer of Rs 1 crore to Leo 1 and another Rs 50 lakh to actor Rajpal Yadav to produce a film, the police said. Manoj was one of the partners of the Kalyan's Samarth builders.

TOI was the first to report the scam as well as the involvement of Shukla brothers. "The company claimed to be into construction of weekend bungalows in Karjat, Singhdal, Shahapur and Ambivli ,'' said additional commissioner of police (EOW) Sanjay Saxena. The investors are spread across the state and have collectively lost more than Rs 40 crore as of now. The police say the accused had entered into an MoU on bogus stamp papers and got the same notarised. "Bogus property documents and tentative ownership papers of non-agricultural plots signed by Rathod were annexed with the MoU,'' a police officer said. The accused spent money in setting up digital film studious in Mumbai, Delhi , Chandigarh, Amritsar and Dubai. The police found the accused also used investor money to a hotel in Thane.

The EOW acted on a complaint by Amrish Patankar, a customs clearing agent and a resident of Majiwadi in Thane.

They floated various schemes for different investors ranging from Rs 51,000 to Rs 7.25 lakh. "On an investment of Rs 51,000, the investors were offered Rs 8,160 per month and at the end of the third year, promised ownership of a 170-squarefoot plot in the said bungalows. If one invested Rs 5 lakh, he was promised Rs 89,250 per month and ownership of a 1,750-square-foot plot plus a 10-gram gold coin. Those who invested Rs 7.25 lakh were offered Rs 58,000 per month plus ownership of a 2,500-square-foot bungalow at the end of the third year and a 20-gram gold coin.''
S Ahmed Ali, TNN May 25, 2010, 06.08am IST

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