He started out as a security guard but became a crorepati. Nitin Rathi, a Noida authority employee, allegedly made Rs 10 crore by ‘issuing’ fake property allotment letters to 61 people. The con came to light after several of his victims failed to obtain possession of plots and government flats they believed they were allotted in sectors 122 and 73. Rathi is on the run as the Noida authority has decided to suspend him and is considering legal action.
Rathi’s modus operandi was simple. He used his access to the authority office to lure people with the promise of getting them government plot and flats at cheaper rates. “We found Rathi ‘issued’ fake allotment letters to victims. He used the official letterhead and faked official stamps and the signatures of top officials. We will lodge an FIR,” said Vinod Kumar Panwar, additional chief executive officer (ACEO), Noida authority.
To gain the trust of his victims, Rathi used to make them deposit part of the money in the authority’s account and issued fake challan papers. Explaining the con, another official said: “He promised to allot a 452sqm plot for Rs 64 lakh. Of that, he asked the victim to deposit a demand draft of Rs 25.6 lakh in favour of the authority. He took the remaining cash himself.”
Rathi joined the authority as a security guard in the sports department in 2010. As his ill-gotten wealth multiplied, he started living a lavish lifestyle, say officials. His lifestyle was one of the reasons his victims never doubted him.
“His cars had blue and red beacons. He would be surrounded by 6-7 security men with sophisticated weapons. We trusted him because he was a government servant,” said Amit Kumar, a resident of Ghaziabad.
According to an official, Rathi owned several cars like the Volkswagen Vento, a Honda City, Toyota Fortuner, Mahindra XUV-500, Scorpio and Ford Endeavour.
He lived in a five-storey house in Noida sector 12 and owned another in sector 72, officials added. It is unclear why his alleged lavish lifestyle didn’t raise suspicions earlier.