A criminal offence has been registered against the multi-crore collective investment scheme company, Samruddha Jeevan Foods, and its four directors for allegedly continuing to raise money despite being barred from doing so by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
The police said arrests would be made in the case after concrete documentary evidences were collected.
In 2013, the SEBI had barred the directors of the company, which is headquartered in Shivajinagar, from raising money from its investors. The company had been collecting money from small investors, majority of whom are from rural and semi-urban areas, with promises of huge returns from cattle and goat farms. SEBI board had found that besides facing several allegations of malpractices, the company was running the scheme without a proper approval which was mandatory.
On Saturday, a SEBI officer, Sachin Sonavane, lodged a formal first information report (FIR) with the Deccan Gymkhana police station. The FIR is against the company and its four directors, Mahesh Kisan Motewar, Vaishali Motewar, Ghanshyam Patel and Rajendra Bhandare.
Senior inspector Praveen Chaugule of Deccan Gymkhana police station said, “The SEBI had asked the company to stop raising money from public. But according to SEBI findings, the company kept collecting money and so SEBI officials have lodged a complaint.”
The police said though they were yet to ascertain the number of investors and total investments done by the company, primary estimates suggested that the number of investors ran into thousands while total amount raised by the company was in crores.
“We will certainly make arrests in the case, but only after we collect concrete evidence of wrongdoing. The offence has been registered under Indian Penal Code sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 120B (criminal conspiracy),” Chaugule said.
Several calls made to the landline numbers of the company to seek a comment went unanswered.