IT to scrutinise high-networth investors in Citi fraud

New Delhi: The Income Tax department will begin scrutinising the investments and tax payments of some high-networth individuals from next week, who were allegedly duped in the Rs 400 crore fraud at Citibank.

The I-T department had summoned more than 20 such investors whose tax returns are filed in the national capital and Gurgaon.

Different I-T offices including the one in Chandigarh are involved in the probe to ascertain the flow of money and check if taxes have been evaded by these individuals — by way of non-reporting the funds that they put in the "investment scheme" — or by the alleged mastermind of the fraud Shivraj Puri, a relationship manager with the bank`s Gurgaon branch who dealt with them.

The department, which will scrutinise the documents of these high-networth individuals in a phased manner, will also probe the angle of unaccounted money which was pumped into the stock market, and whether it could have been laundered.

The I-T will pass any information on money laundering or violation of foreign exchange rules to the Enforcement Directorate.

The entities whose funds were diverted by Puri into the accounts of his relatives include Hero Corporate Services (Rs 13.75 crore), OKS Sapan Tech (Rs 2 crore) and Satyam Auto (Rs 25 crore). Others include Mayar Infratech (Rs 24 crore), Spaid (Rs 62 crore), Karopat Pad (Rs 8 crore), Sunil Kant and Sons (Rs 3 crore), Aero Infratec (Rs 25 crore), Hero Exports (Rs 97 crore), Rekha Munjal (Rs 5 crore), Munjal Investments (Rs 2.5 crore) and Munab Braej (Rs 71 crore).

The department, according to sources, may also question Puri once it obtains preliminary information on the investments and the channels used for routing the money.

In December, Puri was taken into custody for allegedly duping about 40 high-networth investors and corporate entities to the tune of Rs 400 crore.