LUCKNOW: The ED today filed its first charge sheet in the alleged Rs 3,700 crore ponzi scam perpetrated by a Noida-based firm which had promised money for 'likes' on social media to lakhs of gullible investors.
The central probe agency filed the voluminous prosecution complaint (charge sheet), of which the operational part is a 50-page report, before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court here.
ED Joint Director Rajeshwar Singh said the charge sheet has been filed after over four months of investigation into the case where over Rs 654 crore assets have been attached by the agency.
The case involves a firm named Ablaze Info Solution Private Limited and it is owned by the alleged kingpin of this alleged Ponzi scam case -- Anubhav Mittal.
He was also arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in this case.
A supplementary charge sheet, officials said, is soon expected to be filed in this case.
Mittal, the agency had said, had collected "several thousand crore of rupees from the customers of his company by false inducements and later syphoned off the same by means of generating false or bogus bills/invoices with the assistance of various persons who are under scrutiny."
The ED had on January 5 registered a criminal case under the PMLA based on an FIR of the Uttar Pradesh Police's Special Task Force (STF) which had first unearthed the alleged illegal ponzi or multi-level marketing scam.
The agency later filed a second FIR in the case, also known as the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR).
"The modus operandi of the accused according to their business scheme as alleged was that through their web portal they promoted a scheme where by liking the webpage, which was fictitiously shown associated with international social media groups like Google and Facebook, the users will earn money.
"The accused persons propagated a false story that the promotional web pages linked on these international social media portals pay Rs 6 per likes out of which they pay Rs 5 to the investment/user," the agency had said.
The probe agency had said the fraudsters allegedly cheated about 6.5 lakh, gullible investors of an estimated, Rs 3,700 crore, a fraud bigger in value than the infamous Saradha chit fund scam of West Bengal and Assam which is pegged at Rs 2,500 crore.