Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached Rs 35.7 crore worth assets of Vikram Investments that cheated Team India’s new coach Rahul Dravid and former badminton champion and actor Deepika Padukone’s father Prakash Padukone.
Rahul Dravid, Prakash Padukone, and several other celebrities are among 2,420 people to have been cheated by Vikram Investments.
The assets have been impounded over the Ponzi scam that surfaced in March 2018. These include Rs 34.21 crore worth of immovable properties such as land, office space, and flats in various parts of Bengaluru. Bank balance and fixed deposits to the tune of Rs 1.49 crore have also been attached.
Vikram Investments had received Rs 417 crore from the public by promising improbable assured returns of up to 30-35% a year under the guise of commodity trading. The firm paid Rs 331 crore as “profit” and misappropriated the remaining Rs 86 crore.
The scam first surfaced over three years ago when P R Balaji, a businessman from South Bengaluru who had invested Rs 11.7 crore, filed a cheating complaint with Banashankari police. An FIR based on Balaji’s complaint was registered on March 3, 2018. Balaji told the police that the firm did pay high returns initially but stopped the payments eventually. The principal was not returned either.
Police arrested the partners and associates of Vikram Investments, namely Raghavendra Srinath, K P Narasimhamurthy, M Prahlada, KC Nagaraj, and Sutram Suresh, but they all got bail.
According to the ED, Srinath had paid R Krishna, one of the investors, an improbable net profit of around Rs 35 crore.