Bengaluru: A day after the arrest of five accused, including a former journalist, in a financial fraud, over 80 people filed complaints with the Banashankari police on Monday, with the police now suspecting it to be a Rs 800 crore scam involving over 500 people.
The police had initially estimated the scam to be worth Rs 300 crore, but with the complaints pouring in, they have scaled it up by another Rs 500 crore.
Over 80 people, who queued up before the Banashankari police station on Monday, gave proof of their investment to the police.
Raghavendra Srinath, an engineer, started Vikram Investment Company with the head office at Yeshwanthpur and a branch office at Banashankari II Stage. He appointed former sports journalist Sutram Suresh, K.C. Nagraj and Narasimhamurthy as wealth managers, offering them good salaries and commissions to get investors.
Three special teams have been formed to investigate the scam in detail, a senior police officer told Deccan Chronicle. “Many personalities from the film industry, sports, politics etc, have invested with the company. But none of them have filed a complaint yet,” he said.
Investigations revealed that over 40 agents were involved in the scam, while Raghavendra’s wife Sunitha, who is one of the directors of the company, is absconding. The police are trying to trace Sunitha and the other agents. The police have asked private accountants to conduct a thorough audit of the company’s transactions to get to the bottom of the fraud.
The police said that Raghavendra visited Malaysia frequently and suspect that he might have invested large amounts of money in properties there. He took advantage of LIC agents and lured them by offering good commission. He had printed brochures with the photographs of many celebrities and sports personalities without their consent to gain the trust of investors, the police said.
The police seized 12 bank accounts and two cars of Raghavendra. The five accused had opened the Vikram Investment Company at Basavanadugi and Yeshwantpur around seven years ago.