THE CBI on Thursday filed its preliminary chargesheet in the case against the Artha Tatwa group, a key player in the multi-crore Orissa chit fund scam, accusing 16 people including a BJD MLA, a former advocate general and the group’s chief of perpetrating the scam worth Rs 200 crore.
In its chargesheet submitted before a special CBI court here, the agency accused BJD MLA Pravat Tripathy, former A-G Ashok Mohanty, Artha Tatwa CMD Pradeep Sethy, Bollywood model coordinator Priti Bhatia, media house owners Madhu Mohanty and Manoj Das, among others, of hatching the conspiracy.
The chargesheet also named seven organisations run by Sethy, including 5 cooperative societies.
The accused have been charged under IPC sections of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, dishonestly receiving stolen property, cheating, forgery for purpose of cheating, and using as genuine a forged document. Sections of the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act have also been applied.
The chargesheet detailed how Sethy, 36, started the chit fund group in 2010 after registering his organisations under the Companies Act and the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act. Sethy collected money from small investors in Orissa with a promise of high returns ranging from 15 to 20 per cent. The chargesheet detailed the extent of business relations between Sethy and Tripathy. In one audio conversation, Tripathy is purpotedly heard demanding money from Sethy to organise an event in his constituency.
Former A-G Ashok Mohanty too has been shown as having helped Sethy by entering into a dubious transaction with Sethy in the purchase of a two-storied house in Cuttack.
The chargesheet filed on Thursday is only a preliminary one to meet statutory requirement of filing the chargesheet within 120 days. A supplementary chargesheet could follow.
(With ENS, Delhi)