As per the report by LiveMint, The Economic Offences Wing’s (EOW) preliminary investigation into BharatPe co-founder Ashneer Grover’s family has found backdated invoices and fund siphoning through the company. The invoices were generated in favor of recruitment firms linked to BharatPe whose bank accounts were created after the invoice dates.
An example of this is an invoice for INR 39.9 lakh raised on 7th August 2019 was associated with a bank account created on 22nd August 2019. Besides this, the probe agency couldn’t trace many firms to which BharatPe made vendor payments.
According to the report, BharatPe hired eight human resource firms which included Vardhaman Marketing, Impulse Marketing, Vista Services, Evolve Bizserve, Team Source, Team Works, True Work Co, and Vikash Enterprises. EOW stated that all these firms’ registered addresses allegedly belonged to family members or relatives of Grover’s wife Madhuri Jain, who was also the head of controls at BharatPe. Out of the eight, the first five had bank account numbers that were not created on the dates stated on invoices. Approximately Rs 7.60 crore was reportedly credited to these eight firms.
According to a report by MoneyControl, The findings have been submitted as a status report to the Delhi High Court, where the case is presumably under examination. The status report said, “These invoices were provided by the vendors as well as complainant company to the investigating agency, which established that these fake invoices were created at a later stage after the opening of bank accounts of these firms. These firms were established and their bank accounts were opened only for the purpose of siphoning of funds and for causing wrongful gain to the alleged persons.”
The EOW registered a first information report (FIR) against Ashneer Grover, his wife Madhuri Jain Grover, and family members, including Deepak Gupta, Suresh Jain, and Shwetank Jain, in June of this year. This was after the Delhi High Court had refused to open an investigation following a complaint being lodged by BharatPe against Grover and his wife in an INR 81 crore fraud, according to a report by Bar and Bench.
BharatPe has also filed a civil suit with the Delhi High Court for the recovery of more than INR 88.67 crore in damages from Grover and family.
The FIR that was registered by EOW involved eight criminal offences, including 409 (criminal breach of trust by a public servant or by banker, merchant, or agent), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), and 120B (criminal conspiracy), among others.