Citibank fraud accused charged with duping Mum bizman

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 31 2014, 17:20pm hrs
CitibankAs per a SEBI report in connection with the Citibank scam, Puri had allegedly taken an exposure of Rs 1.13 lakh crore. (Reuters)
A man alleged to be the mastermind of the Rs 400 crore Citibank scam has now a new case of fraud registered against him on the basis of accusations by a businessman.

An FIR has been registered against Shivraj and his parents for allegedly duping a Mumbai businessman and his wife of Rs 13 crore while he was out on bail.

He duped the couple on the pretext of saving them from a non-existent court case, police said.

An FIR in this regard was filed here with the Economic Offences Wing of Delhi Police by Sunil Alagh, a resident of Mumbai, on August 26 under Sections 120B, 406 and 420 of IPC.

Alagh has also named Puri's parents Raghu Raj Puri and Deeksha Puri in the case.

Alagh had known Shivraj's family for long and trusted them. He had a residential plot at DLF which he wanted to sell and roped in a property dealer for the same.

"On June 30, Alagh got a call from Raghu Raj who told him that the property dealer he had contacted for the purpose of selling the said plot was a crook who had fraudulently sold the plot to five different persons and has further done some manipulation regarding the stamp duty," said a police official citing the FIR.

Raghu Raj told the businessman that certain criminal cases had been registered in this connection against him and his wife, which were pending in Gurgaon district court, and that they could be arrested, the official added.

When Alagh went home worried over the issue, his wife told him that he had got a call from somebody claiming to be from the Gurgaon district court who had told her that they will have to appear in court on June 30. The caller had further said that, upon failure to appear in court, they would be arrested and brought to court, the FIR added.

Alagh then called Raghu, who assured him that his son, Shivraj, was looking into the matter and they would have to deposit Rs 8.5 crore in the Gurgaon Court towards Stamp Duty charges, including penalty equivalent to five times being levied by the Gurgaon Court and for anticipatory bail.

"Alagh somehow managed to find the money and sent it through RTGS to Puri's account. But the father-son duo kept asking Alagh to deposit more money on one pretext or the other. They even told him that the Enforcement Directorate has got involved in the case and assured him they would manage it. In all, they fleeced Rs 13.15 crore from Alagh," the police official said.

However, Alagh finally got suspicious when despite several assurances, the Puris never gave him any documents regarding the court case.

When he finally came to Delhi to inquire on his own, he was shocked to know that no such case was pending against him and his wife in the said court.

Learning about the fraud which had been committed against him and also that Shivraj was an accused in the around Rs 400 crore Citibank fraud which took place in Gurgaon in 2010-11, Alagh realised that the Puris had duped him. He thereafter approached police.

"We have registered an FIR in this case and further inquiries are on," the official said.

As per a SEBI report in connection with the Citibank scam, Puri had allegedly taken an exposure of Rs 1.13 lakh crore in the equity market using Rs 236 crore of 51 high net worth individuals and corporates before losing everything due to a decline in the stock markets.

The government had earlier said that the fraud at the Gurgaon branch of the bank had been going on since September, 2009, but major transactions only took place between May and November, 2010.