A 46-year-old woman, wife of a retired school headmaster, was arrested by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) on charges of swindling people of `1.25 crore, near Maduravoyal here on Friday.
Police said Latha, 46, ran a chit fund business for the past 13 years and had earned the trust of a large number of customers.
She jumped into the business following the prolonged illness of her husband Rajendran. He was headmaster in a school in Thiruvottiyur, but was bedridden for two years after an accident, during which the family liquidated all their savings including the reserves maintained for the education of their wards.
Rajendran opened a typewriting institute and as he was a retired headmaster, Latha was able to win the trust of gullible investors. In the beginning she returned the matured chits as per schedule, which increased her business.
She began to reinvest the chit fund members’ money in other ventures for quick gains. She began amassing wealth at a brisk pace, finding it a lot easier than spending all her money to fund her daughter’s education and husband’s medical expenses.
When the trading firms where she had invested her money suffered losses she pumped in more money, believing she would regain it in time.
When she began to dodge depositors as the payment of matured chits came due, suspicion grew among them.
They made a representation to the City Police Commissioner in October last hoping to recover the lost money.
The CCB registered a case and subsequently arrested her from an undisclosed location at Maduravoyal. She was remanded to judicial custody by the chief metropolitan magistrate and lodged in Puzhal Prison.