Never handled escrow account for arms dealer, says ex-attorney
C Edmond Allen, the US-based estranged attorney of controversial arms dealer Abhishek Verma, has told investigators that he never held any escrow account for his former client who is now embroiled in around half a dozen CBI cases, Rajesh Ahuja reports.delhi Updated: Nov 21, 2012 23:15 IST
C Edmond Allen, the US-based estranged attorney of controversial arms dealer Abhishek Verma, has told investigators that he never held any escrow account for his former client who is now embroiled in around half a dozen CBI cases.
A joint team of the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had gone to the US a few days ago to gather information from him about the activities of Abhishek Verma. The team met Allen in New York.
"Investigators questioned him about the alleged escrow accounts to tune of US $ 410 that he was supposed to be handling on behalf of Verma. An escrow account is a separate bank account for keeping money that is the property of others. Lawyers keep the escrow account to avoid mingling of clients' money with their own funds. Allen clarified though there were two agreements with Verma for handling two escrow accounts, no such accounts were opened," said an investigator.
According to sources, investigators are treating Allen as source of information rather than a witness. Therefore, with regard to CBI cases, no statement of Allen was recorded.
"He mailed us so many documents which helped the CBI and the ED to launch probes against Verma on the charges of violating the Official Secrets Act, the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Allen accepted mailing documents against Verma," said a source.
Investigators also suspect that Allen may be in touch with an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer who Abhishek allege is running a campaign against him. "But it has nothing to do with the probes initiated against Verma by the ED and the CBI.