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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

Prerna Arora gave fake online receipts to two film-makers

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai police filed a second charge sheet against Arora. Vishal Bhardwaj and Abhishek Kapoor recorded their statements.

mumbai Updated: Mar 28, 2019 23:55 IST
Vijay Kumar Yadav
Vijay Kumar Yadav
Hindustan Times
Film Producer Prerna Arora was arrested in December 2018
Film Producer Prerna Arora was arrested in December 2018(HT file)
         

According to the second charge sheet filed by Mumbai Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) against film producer Prerna Arora, Padma Ispat Private Limited has alleged Arora took ₹16.35 crore under the pretext of investment in films that had already been sold to other companies, like Vashu Bhagnani’s Pooja Entertainment.

The charge sheet also has statements from filmmakers Abhishek Kapoor and Vishal Bhardwaj whom Arora allegedly owes money.

The EOW had filed the first charge sheet against Arora last month, which HT had reported on February 14. As per the second charge sheet filed on March 21, Padma Ispat Private Limited has alleged Arora and her associates signed deals for the films Kedarnath, Fanney Khan, Batti Gul and Rani (Sapna Didi), but concealed that she had already entered into an arrangement with Gothic Entertainment Private Limited for these titles. According to police, Arora allegedly violated terms and conditions in all agreements. In March 2018, Padma Ispat Private Limited’s director, Anil Gupta, discovered she had sold the rights of the films his firm had invested in, to others.

When Gupta demanded Arora return the ₹16.35 crore his company had invested, Arora gave him cheques that bounced. She then allegedly told him that she was raising the money by selling properties she owned in Haryana and Delhi. Arora’s employee Altaf Hussain, an accused in the case, sent false bank statements to Padma Ispat Private Limited as proof of Arora having funds to repay Gupta’s firm. Arora also sent two unique transaction reference (UTR) numbers (generally used in association with NEFT or RTGS transactions) to Gupta for the payment of ₹2 crore and ₹1.5crore. But, both these numbers were found to be false.

Filmmaker Abhishek Kapoor in his statement to the EOW said Arora had given him two cheques of ₹40 lakh and ₹1.50 crore for Kedarnath, but both bounced. Later she sent a fake UTR number to Kapoor for a payment of ₹1.50 crore. Similarly, filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj said his production company Vishal Bhardwaj Pictures Private Limited was given two cheques of ₹2.5 crore and ₹50 lakh by Arora’s KriArj Entertainment, but both bounced. Following this Arora had also given him a UTR number, which also turned out to be fake.

Arora, Hussain and another associate Anwar Ali Khan have been charged under sections 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery), 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. While Khan has got anticipatory bail, Arora is in judicial custody.

First Published: Mar 28, 2019 23:48 IST