SFIO to probe AT chit fund scam

Bhubaneswar: Another round of multi-agency investigation in the Artha Tatwa (AT) chit fund scam is in the offing as the Special Vigilance Court here on Wednesday directed the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) to probe the multi-thousand crore scam in the State.

Official sources said the SFIO will begin investigation very soon.

AT chief Pradeep Sethi, directors-Jyotiprakash Jayprakash, Srikrishna Padhy, Manoj Pattnaik and Mumbai-based stock broker Deepak Chandratan Parekh will be interrogated by the SFIO in first phase, the sources added.

The development bears significance as in December last year the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had attached properties worth Rs 23 crore of AT group, its Managing Director P K Sethy and others in the chit fund scam. ED officials said total value of the properties attached so far touched Rs 107 crore.

Sethy has been in jail since May 2013 after he was arrested by the state police for duping thousands of investors in Odisha by floating various fraudulent schemes.

The Central Bureau of Investigation, which took over the probe into the chit fund scam in the state following the direction of Supreme Court, has estimated that Artha Tatwa group defrauded thousands of depositors of a total of about Rs 1,200 crore.

The ED has been probing the case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act.