Scores of duped investors are coming forward in the Rs 10-crore Ponzi scam in which Madras Café actor Leena Paul, her partner Shekhar Chandrashekar and four others were recently arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police.
More than 100 investors have come forward since the fraud was exposed, according to an EOW official, who did not wish to be named. Meanwhile, the EOW is in the process of locating and seizing the suspects’ movable and immovable properties.
The police arrested Paul, Chandrashekar, three relatives of lyricist Hasrat Jaipuri – Adil Hussain Jaipuri, Akhtar Hussain Jaipuri and Nasir Mumtaj Jaipuri – and a certain Salman Pheroz Rizvi for allegedly cheating almost 1,000 people of Rs 10 crore with a dubious money-circulating scheme through a firm named Lion Oak India.
“Chandrashekar lived a lavish lifestyle to impress potential victims and lure them into investing in his schemes, which promised exorbitant returns. He would also put up posters of big events in his office and tell investors that his company was sponsoring the event,” said another EOW official.
He would then take their cash, promising them Nano cars and other gifts in addition to lucrative returns, but never returned the money.
A special Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors’ (MPID) court has remanded the accused in police custody till June 8. An officer said the accused are not co-operating with the investigation and that the police suspect more people could be involved in the scam.