B Ramalinga Raju,the founder and former head of Satyam Computer Services may have skimmed huge amounts of cash from the company,rather than padded its books as he claims,according to a report in the ‘New York Times’ that cited a person involved in the Satyam investigation.
Satyam,India’s No. 4 software services exporter,has been battling for survival since Raju resigned as chairman earlier this month,revealing profits had been falsified for years and that $1 billion of cash on the books did not exist.
Investigators looking into the fraud have found a maze of about 300 companies related to Raju that were used to siphon as much as $1 billion in cash from Satyam,the report said,citing a senior official involved in the inquiry.
The article said the picture emerging from the investigation of Satyam is very different from the one painted by Raju in a letter to Satyam’s board earlier this month.
In the letter,Raju said about $1 billion of Satyam’s cash was “non-existent” and that he had falsified its profits for years to avoid losing control of the company.
Raju said neither he nor his brother,B. Rama Raju,who co-founded Satyam,”took even one rupee/dollar from the company.”
The New York Times report,citing the person involved with the investigation,said the entire $1 billion Raju said was faked might have actually been earned by the company but then skimmed from it.
A spokesman for Satyam declined to comment on the report.
The report said Raju’s lawyer did not return calls seeking comment.