Model scout ‘Mr Page 3’ cheated over 50 aspiring actors of Rs 1.67 crore with promises of roles
A 52-year-old owner of a modelling agency, popularly known as ‘Mr Page 3’ among aspiring actors, has been sentenced by a Mumbai court to three years imprisonment for cheating over 50 people of Rs 1.67 crore on the pretext of providing them roles in serials, commercials, modelling projects, and films.
Gurubhai Sureshbhai Thakkar alias Manish, a resident of Andheri, was found guilty under section 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sentenced to three years simple imprisonment and a Rs 50,000 fine by SN Bhalerao, additional chief metropolitan magistrate, 47th court, on Saturday.
Thakkar, through his company K2K Ad Films, would place advertisements in the newspaper offering jobs to aspiring models.
He would then charge the young men and women between Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh to shoot their portfolio but they would get no assignments through Thakkar.
Later, Thakkar would avoid them and ignore their demands for a refund. Between 2005 and 2008, he allegedly cheated over 50 people of Rs 1.67 crore.
“The accused had taken back payment receipts from the victims to avoid trouble in the future. He cheated innocent people of their hard-earned money and deserved maximum punishment,” public prosecutor Taher Trimbakwala submitted in the court.
“The accused cheated many and fled with their money. One of the victims had to sell her gold bangles to pay him. One of the victims was threatened in court. He sent goons to the house of one of the victims and threatened to cause harm to her daughter. He does not deserve any leniency and is sentenced to three years imprisonment and Rs 50,000 fine,” observed magistrate Bhalerao.
The complainant in the case, Makrand Joshi expressed relief that Thakkar received a deserving punishment.
“I am happy that the culprit is finally punished and our faith in the judicial system is retained,” he said.