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CBI files chargesheet in IMA Ponzi scam

CBI files chargesheet in IMA Ponzi scam

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation has filed a chargesheet in the I Monetary Advisory Ponzi scheme case, against the chit fund company's Managing Director Mansoor Khan and 14 others in a Bengaluru court, officials here said.

The chargesheet was filed by the central probe agency on Saturday (September 7), after it registered a case against the Bengaluru-based company and 26 people including Khan, on August 30.

The chargesheet has been filed against seven directors, five members, one auditor and four of IMA's group companies.

The CBI had taken over the investigation in the case, pegged by the ED to be around Rs 4,000 crore, after the state government in Karnataka had decided to hand it over to the central probe agency, weeks after BS Yeddiyurappa's BJP government came to power in the state at the end of July.

The CBI had subsequently registered another FIR in connection with the Ponzi scheme case, where an executive engineer of the Bengaluru Development Authority was allegedly paid Rs 5 crore in bribe by directors of IMA, to influence the Principal Secretary of the Revenue Department so that the chit fund company could obtain a No Objection Certificate.

Officials said that the central agency has formed a 12-member Multi-Disciplinary Investigation Team, assisted by Chartered Accountants, forensic auditors, computer forensic experts and bankers to probe the case. The case had revealed political overtones as well, when a video of Khan alleging that Shivajinagar's Congress MLA, Roshan Baig, had taken Rs 400 crore from him and was not returning it.

The CBI' FIR is based on a complaint first lodged by the Bengaluru City police, where the complainant alleged that more than Rs 1.3 crore of his investment was stuck with IMA and that Khan's company also owed him more than Rs 3 crore in construction payments. The central agency's FIR also acknowledges 15 more similar cases lodged by the Bengaluru Police and will investigate all of the cases together.

The IMA chief, Mansoor Khan had fled the country days before the scam surfaced, after causing a stir amongst investors by releasing a video where he threatened to kill himself. At the time, more than 35,000 investors had filed complaints with the Bengaluru City Police, taking cognizance of which the ED registered a money-laundering case in the matter.

After tracking Khan down in Dubai, the Karnataka SIT, which was initially probing the case, convinced him to return to India so he could join the investigation. But as soon as he landed in Delhi sometime in mid-July, he was detained by immigration authorities on account of an LOC against him, after which ED officials arrested him. Khan is currently in judicial custody.

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