The agency had filed a complaint before the PMLA Special Court Ernakulam against William Verghese, Chairman, BRD Group of Companies, and five other accused on November 11, 2022. Court has taken cognizance of the prosecution complaint filed by the ED on November 18. ED initiated the money-laundering investigation on the basis of first information reports (FIRs) registered by Kerala Police. According to ED, the accused persons, for making quick money, had collected huge amounts from various general public /investors, by way of deposits/investments, by luring them while claiming to provide 18 per cent interest per annum, without obtaining any approval of statutory authorities.
Later, they issued or transferred shares of the group companies having a face value of Rs 10 to the depositors in lieu of the money thus collected by fixing the share price at Rs 120 per share. The investors were also assured that the shares would be re-purchased by the companies later at Rs 120 per share.
But the investors were neither given the returns of 18 per cent as assured nor were shares re-purchased. The accused had refused to return the principal amount.
The investigation by ED revealed that CC William Verghese, Chairman of BRD Group, with the assistance of his associates had persuaded various persons for the investment in BRD Group of Companies and also had thereby collected various amounts from the general public/investors and committed cheating with the purpose of making illegal money with a dishonest intention during the above period, thereby had committed a scheduled offence.
From part of the amounts so collected, which are nothing but proceeds of crime (PoC), he had purchased various immovable properties in his name, jointly in his name along with his wife Mary Williams and in the name of his companies namely BRD Car World and SML Finance, the agency said.
All the accused acted with the common intention of cheating and thereby committed the offence of money-laundering. William Verghese was also arrested by ED on February 2, 2021. Subsequently, the Additional Sessions Judge, Ernakulam, had granted him conditional bail.
ED had provisionally attached immovable properties worth Rs 7.50 crore against the PoC, which was confirmed by Adjudicating Authority (Prevention of Money Laundering Act), New Delhi. Further investigation is under progress.
ED attaches Rs 7.50 cr immovable properties of BRD Group chairman, wife
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