A police investigation has been initiated against the owners of a finance company in Ahmedabad allegedly involved in duping 495 persons to the tune of Rs 2.78 crore through various Ponzi schemes in a span of three years.
Cops said the accused Mahesh Bhadra, his son Chirag Bhadra and wife Mamata Bhadra, residents of Nava Naroda in Ahmedabad who own the finance company Anand Enterprises, have been booked for fraud in an FIR registered at the Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) police station in Ahmedabad.
The police said Mahesh ran several Ponzi schemes in which people were encouraged to deposit a monthly instalment as a ticket to participate in a grand prize lucky draw or to avail insurance cover. According to the police, the accused encouraged victims to become “agents” for his company and, through a pyramid-style Ponzi scheme, attract investments in exchange for commission. A total of 18 agents deposited Rs 2.78 crore with Anand Enterprises from 2018 to 2021, but no one received money, as per the victims.
The complainant, Fenil Rathod, is one of the agents of Anand Enterprises who had initially worked as a pantry staff for the company. “I contacted 34 persons and deposited Rs 20.5 lakh in a span of three years in one of the schemes in which each monthly investment was Rs 1,600 per person. However, neither was any lucky draw winner announced, nor was the investors’ money refunded as per the rules of the company,” Rathod said in his complaint.
The police have booked the three accused under sections of the Gujarat Protection of Interest of Depositors Act, The Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act and sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 409 (criminal breach of trust by merchant), 420 (fraud) and 120b (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.