Mumbai ponzi schemes: Two held for filing bogus claims; accused wanted to try their luck, say copshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/mumbai-ponzi-schemes-two-held-for-filing-bogus-claims-accused-wanted-to-try-their-luck-say-cops-5329812/

Mumbai ponzi schemes: Two held for filing bogus claims; accused wanted to try their luck, say cops

Vikas Mhetre (49) and Vilas Dalvi (53), who were arrested from Sangli on Saturday, have been accused of colluding with the employees of the official liquidator to file backdated affidavits to claim refunds.

Mumbai ponzi schemes: Two held for filing bogus claims; accused wanted to try their luck, say cops
The two have been brought to Mumbai and booked on charges of cheating, forgery and being part of a criminal conspiracy under the IPC. (Representational Image)

THREE DAYS after the arrest of two Sangli-based men, who claimed to have invested money in the ponzi schemes City Limouzines and City Realcom promoted by Sayed Masood, the police on Tuesday said that they allegedly decided to try their luck by filing bogus claims with the official liquidator appointed by the Bombay High Court after hearing that investors were being refunded.

Vikas Mhetre (49) and Vilas Dalvi (53), who were arrested from Sangli on Saturday, have been accused of colluding with the employees of the official liquidator to file backdated affidavits to claim refunds.

The two have been brought to Mumbai and booked on charges of cheating, forgery and being part of a criminal conspiracy under the IPC.

“The men do menial jobs in a village in Sangli. They had heard from other investors of City Limouzines and City Realcom that their claims were being processed in Mumbai. The men had lost Rs 5 lakh and Rs 7 lakh each in another Ponzi scheme and decided to pose as investors in City Limouzines to recover their lost investment,” said an officer at Azad Maidan police station.

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Mhetre and Dalvi went to Mumbai in 2015 and met three employees — guards Gopal Bagul and Santosh Chavan and clerk Keshav Satpute — at the liquidator’s office.

They advised the duo to file backdated claim forms to stand a chance to make more money than they had lost.

The three employees, arrested in February this year, have been accused of accepting Rs 7,000 each from 25 investors to file bogus claim affidavits with help of a chartered accountant and to “manage” senior officials handling refund claims at the office.

A number of investors, including Sangli resident Ramdas Yadav — who had lost Rs 1.2 lakh in the firms promoted by Syed Masood — had written to the liquidator’s office in 2016, a year after paying off the trio and not receiving the money they had been promised. In the complaint, the three were also accused of demanding more money to process the claims.

Following this, officials at the liquidator’s office conducted an internal inquiry and found preliminary culpability on part of the three and registered a complaint with the police in February.

While perusing the affidavits filed by the investors, the police found that those filed by Mhetre and Dalvi were bogus.