Big Boss fame actor Kriti Verma named in probe agency’s chargesheet in fraud case

by The Technical Blogs

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The Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday filed a chargesheet in a Rs 263 crore fraudulent Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) refund case, naming as many as 14 individuals and entities.

Among those charged is the alleged mastermind of the scam, former Income Tax Inspector Tanaji Mandal Adhikari. Additionally, the chargesheet also names GST Inspector-turned-television personality, Kriti Verma, known for her appearances on reality shows such as Big Boss and MTV Roadies.

Others named in the ED chargesheet included Kriti Verma’s former boyfriends Bhushan Patil, Rajesh Shetty and others.

THE TDS FRAUD CASE

The Enforcement Directorate has commenced its probe under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in response to an FIR highlighting the fraudulent issuance of refunds for the assessment years 2007-08 and 2008-09.

The initial FIR, lodged by the CBI, alleged that Tanaji Mandal Adhikari, during his tenure as a tax officer, had unauthorised access to RSA Tokens and the login credentials of higher-ranking authorities.

According to the probe agency, Adhikari manipulated the system in collaboration with others to generate TDS refunds totalling over Rs 263 crores, which were then transferred to various bank accounts, including M/s SB Enterprises, owned by another accused, Bhushan Anant Patil.

Earlier, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had filed a charge sheet against Adhikari, Patil, Rajesh Shantaram Shetty, and others under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act, along with Section 66 of IT Act 2000.

KRITI VERMA’S INVOLVEMENT

During the ED’s investigation under PMLA, it was discovered that Kriti Verma had sold a property in Gurugram, which was allegedly acquired with Rs 1.02 crore of proceeds from the crime. The sale proceeds, totaling Rs 1.18 crore, were traced to her bank accounts and subsequently frozen by authorities.

INVESTIGATION FINDINGS

The ED probe also uncovered that during the period spanning 2019 to 2020, Tanaji Mandal Adhikari had orchestrated the creation of 12 fraudulent TDS refunds. These refunds, constituting the proceeds of the crime (POC), were purportedly directed into the bank accounts of Bhushan Anant Patil, as well as other connected individuals and entities, including shell companies.

Even plots in Lonavala, Khandala, Karjat, Pune and Udupi areas, flats in Panvel and Mumbai areas, along with movable assets in the form of three luxury cars (BMW X7, Mercedes GLS400d, Audi Q7) have been acquired out of the proceeds of crime, the ED probe stated.

Published On:

Sep 12, 2023

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