Rajesh Tandon, who has acted in movies such as Agneepath, Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai and Company, was cheated of Rs28 lakh in a ponzi scheme.
The suspect, Vishnukant Upadhyay, met Tandon at Mira Road through a real estate agent in 2012, when he was planning to buy a flat. Upadhyay, introduced himself as the director and managing director of Fine Impex Private Limited and AMR Reality Private Limited. Upadhyay claimed AMR Reality Private Limited was owned by Amit Shah, a diamond dealer.
Upadhyay stayed in touch with the actor and used to often visit Tandon’s house at Lokhandwala in Andheri (West). “Upadhyay tried to convince me to invest money in a business that involved settlement between the debt recovery tribunal, bank, NPAs and investors,” said Tandon.
On May 5, 2015, Tandon transferred the Rs28 lakh that he got after selling his flat in Upadhyay’s account. He was promised a gain of Rs3.9 lakh on the invested money within a month.
“Upadhyay gave me a cheque of Rs28 lakh as security and also signed an MoU, in which he mentioned he was taking the money on behalf of Vishwambhar Shukla,” said Tandon.
Upadhyay didn’t return the money two months later too. He then assured the actor an additional Rs60,000 and said he would return the money by July 28, 2015.
After crossing this deadline, Upadhyay first told the actor he would give him Rs3,250 a day, and later stopped taking his calls. “On September 15, I deposited the security cheque in my account, but it bounced because of insufficient funds,” said Tandon.
Tandon then filed a complaint with the Amboli police station.
“Upadhyay had taken the money in the name of Vishwambhar Shukla. During investigation, we learned Shukla did not get the money and the amount was transferred to several other accounts, including that of Fine Impex pvt ltd,” said Sujit Gunjkar, assistant police inspector and investigating officer. “We have sent summons to directors of Fine Impex, including Amit Shah, but they are not co-operating with the investigation,” he said. “We visited Upadhyay’s place in Bhayander several times, but he is absconding. He had applied for anticipatory bail in the Dindoshi court, but his plea was rejected” said Gunjkar.
Amit Shah said, “I have nothing to do with this case. I know Upadhyay as he was the director of AMR Reality Pvt Ltd, but the company has been inactive for the past ten years. We haven’t taken the money. I spoke to the investigating officer in Amboli police station. I will visit the police station and clarify.”