CA held, accused of playing key role in theft of PF funds at state-run firm

A chartered accountant has been arrested for his alleged role in the illegal transfer of Rs 4,122 crore belonging to the provident fund of a state-run utility for investments in private mortgage lender Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DHFL).

Lalit Goyal, who worked with brokerage firm SMC, was arrested in Delhi late Thursday by the Uttar Police’s Economic Offenses Wing (EOW), which is probing the alleged illegal transfer of funds employees of UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) had in their provident fund (PF).

Sources in the police alleged Goyal played a key role in facilitating the investments in DHFL and PNB Housing Finance, and fixing meetings. He is also accused of helping the co-accused in floating bogus companies on behalf of earning brokerages.

Alok Garg and Mahesh Gupta, two senior executives of SMC, were arrested earlier after the police allegedly found their company was complicit in the scam.

Serving and retired UPPCL officials, chartered accountants, owners of brokerage firms are among the 17 people arrested earlier for their alleged role in the scam, which is separately being investigated by the central government’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) for possible money laundering.

The Uttar Pradesh government had recommended that the Central Bureau of Investigation take over the probe.

Last month, the ED had registered a money laundering case in New Delhi and an ED team had also arrived in Lucknow to meet the EOW sleuths probing the scam. While, EOW is probing the alleged criminal conspiracy and unauthorised investment of the corpus in DHFL, the ED seeks to unearth any money laundering syndication.

While, Rs 4,122 crore were parked with DHFL between March 2017 and December 2018, about Rs 2,267 crore are outstanding with the company, which has been barred by the Bombay High Court from making fresh repayments owing to another ongoing ED probe into money laundering.

The funds were channelised in installments through 28 brokerage or bogus firms allegedly in connivance with the officials managing the two UPPCL trusts.

In November, the EOW had arrested then UPPCL managing director A P Mishra, now retired, apart from suspended officials Praveen Kumar Gupta and Sudhanshu Dwivedi in the case. Besides, those arrested included chartered accounts (CA) and the owners of brokerage or bogus investment firms.

Later, the Yogi Adityanath government had promised to ensure the payment of the outstanding amount with DHFL if the non-banking financial company (NBFC) failed to fulfil its commitment.

While, Rs 4,122 crore was invested in DHFL, the corpus was also parked in LIC Housing Finance and PNB Housing Finance with investments in the three NBFCs totalling Rs 6,600 crore.

Meanwhile, the state has started the process of disinvesting PF corpus in LIC Housing and PNB Housing.

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Updated: January 18, 2020 — 1:00 pm

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