64-year-old former accountant dupes Mumbai firm of Rs14.08 crore, arrested
The other accused, including another former accountant of the firm, are still wanted.Updated: Aug 08, 2019 23:46 IST
The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) on Wednesday arrested a 64-year-old former accountant of a Khar-based company for allegedly siphoning of ₹14 crore from the firm’s account and breaching the firm owner’s trust. The other accused, including another former accountant of the firm, are still wanted.
According to police, the accused accountants allegedly diverted money from the firm to their family member’s accounts by forging signatures of the owner, Rajen Shah, and his wife, Darshana. Shah, a Santacruz resident, has a proprietorship firm Kirtanlal & Sons. The company, which has an office in Khar (West), works as an agent for petrochemical companies; power, oil and gas companies; and engineering companies that import from foreign producers.
In 1998, Shah’s company had appointed Ulhas Pandya as an accountant. Owing to extra work load, Shah enlisted services of Suresh Rayani in 2007. However, Rayani was not employed by the company. Pandya and Rayani looked after accounts related to Shah’s company as well as personal accounts of Shah and Darshana. On September 5, 2017, Pandya quit the job. In June 2018, Rayani stopped giving his services.
In November 2018, the Income Tax (I-T) department sought information from Darshana for declaration of wrong information in connection to selling shares of a firm. “Shah asked his new accountants to scrutinise past transactions. During this exercise, some suspicious transactions that had taken place when Pandya and Rayani were the accountants cropped up,” said an EOW officer.
“Shah confronted them, following which both of them reportedly admitted to have siphoned of funds. In the complaint, Shah said that the two have admitted in writing that they siphoned off money using duplicate signatures on cheques,” the officer said.
A forensic auditor appointed by Shah found 108 suspicious transactions, which had benefited 36 companies and individuals. “Shah sent six cheques with forged signatures and samples of signatures of Pandya and Rayani to the forensic lab. Lab results found similarities in the signatures on the cheques and samples of Pandya and Rayani’s signatures,” an EOW source said.
The first information report (FIR) was registered in April. “The two accused siphoned off ₹14.08crore between 2007 and 2017. They forged the couple’s signatures on cheques and vouchers to divert funds in their relatives’ companies’ accounts. Rayani was arrested on Wednesday. Pandya and the duo’s family members are still wanted in the case,” said another EOW officer.
First Published: Aug 08, 2019 23:15 IST