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ICore Ponzi scheme: CBI files chargesheet against scribe

ICore Ponzi scheme: CBI files chargesheet against scribe
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New Delhi: The CBI has filed a supplementary chargesheet against Bengali journalist Suman Chattopadhyay, in one of the 44 chit fund scams it is probing on orders from the Supreme Court of India, the agency said on Thursday.

The new development comes as part of the investigation in ICore Group of Companies, one of the groups that ran Ponzi schemes to collect deposits from unsuspecting investors in West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, and other states.

The Central Bureau of Investigation has alleged that the scribe conspired with directors of ICore Group to pocket around Rs 4 crore of the tainted money, which he used to settle outstanding liabilities he held with a public lender.

In the chargesheet that was filed recently in Bhubaneswar, the agency has further accused Chattopadhyay of actively promoting ICore Group, which helped it collect funds from members of the public.

The CBI said that the senior journalist received the chit fund money through Disha Productions and Media Pvt Ltd (DPMPL) from one of the ICore Group companies. He was the director of DPMPL at the time. The probe agency said that Chattopadhyay had continuously published advertisements of the Ponzi scheme company in his Bengali daily Ek Din, which resulted in a phenomenal rise of collections from depositors for ICore.

Chattopadhyay was arrested in December last year after several rounds of repeated questioning in Kolkata. He is currently under judicial custody in Bhubaneswar, where the case is being prosecuted.

CBI had in August 2017, filed a chargesheet against ICore Group, naming its Chief Managing Director Anukul Maiti for collecting Rs 2,421 crore from investors in the chit fund scam.

Both the CBI and Enforcement Directorate had earlier questioned Chattopadhyay in connection with the Rs 1,200 crore Saradha chit fund case.

At the time, ED alleged that the journalist had taken loans from three chit fund companies, including the Saradha Group, which he then laundered through two of his publishing entities.

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