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AT fraud furore in JSpur: Hundreds lodge complaints

Wednesday, 08 May 2013 | KAHNU NANDA | JAGATSINGHPUR | in Bhubaneswar



Hundreds of investors, including agents and field staff of Artha Tatwa (AT) Group here on Tuesday lodged complaints with police on financial fraud by the firm. They cited the company had cheated them of Rs25 crore.

The angry depositors submitted a memorandum before the district superintendent of police (SP) seeking his help, who after receiving the complaints, forwarded them to the Crime Branch’s Economic Offences Wing [EOW] for a probe.

Reports said that the AT Group had instituted four branches in Jagatsinghpur, Paradip, Rahama and Kujanga in 2009 and floated three money gain schemes as recurring deposit, fixed deposit and monthly income source and had promised hefty returns to the investors. Many unemployed youth had been lured to work in the company with an assured monthly commission.

The investors and agents alleged that the company collected more than Rs25 crore from Jagatsinghpur branch during past four years. About 400 agents and staff of the company had collected the money from the gullible depositors, while four months back, on an instruction from the company’s head office to halt collection, the regional offices of AT Group were found locked. The company officials also went underground to evade any queries, informed agent Akhila Kumar Lenka.

A few company agents also alleged that they were not being paid for last five months. “We did not receive our salary and commission. Investors are venting their ire against us as we collected money from them,” said Akhila Lenka.

 Meanwhile, branch head Prashant Swain and Manoj Kumar Patnaik, who was instrumental in starting AT Group’s business in Jagatsinghpur have been absconding for past three months.

Meanwhile, reports said that many depositors and agents lodged an FIR in Kujanga police station on Monday on the same count citing a fraud of Rs21 crore from Kujanga branch.             

SP SB Bhoi confirmed receiving complaints from the depositors and agents against the dubious company and said the case has been referred to the Crime Branch’s EOW, which is investigating the alleged fraud across the State by various firms.

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