Bengaluru: A 33-year-old Bengalurean HR professional, who recently secured admission to the University of California for a Masters degree in Human Resources, had her dreams shattered after a mutual funds investment firm, where she had deposited her life's savings of Rs 17 lakh, closed down and disappeared.
Asma Batool, who had also quit her job for pursuing her higher studies abroad, is stuck in the city without money, having to lodge a criminal complaint with the city police commissioner, who directed the Jeevan Bhima Nagar police to register a case, investigate, and to help recover her money.
A resident of HBR Layout with over a decade’s work experience in Human Resources, she decided to pursue her masters at the University of California.
She was successful securing an admission to the coveted university, which could change her and her family’s life altogether, but all her dreams came crashing after she learnt that she was conned by an investment firm in the city.
“I had invested Rs 17 lakh in 2014 (both mine and my elderly father’s retirement, PF and savings money), all what we had, with the Wealthrays Commodities Trading Private Limited, located in HAL 3rd Stage on Jeevan Bhima Nagar main road, believing at the time of my leaving abroad, I could take the money and use it for my admission fee, travel and stay there,” said Ms. Batool.
“I did not doubt anything until December 2015, when I suddenly stopped receiving my monthly payouts of Rs 16,000 to 18,000 and when I questioned the firm employees, I did not get a convincing answer,” Batool said.
“In February, this year, they suddenly closed down their branch in the city, which prompted me to approach the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and lodge a complaint regarding the incident. It took almost 1-1/2 months when SEBI replied asking me to contact the National Stock Exchange (NSE) in case if there were some misappropriation of funds by Wealthrays. After three weeks, NSE replied that the Wealthrays’ trading membership with NSE expired way back in 2013, which means they cannot operate legally,” Batool stated.
“I was shell shocked by this as I was promptly receiving my monthly reports that my money was being used for genuine investments through proper channels and how can a bank misuse a customer’s money?,” Batool wondered.
She then met with the director of Wealthrays, Rashmi Roddam Kiran and her husband, CEO Kiran Kumar Kavikondala and told them that she was done with her investment and wanted her money back.
“Although I was told that I would be paid all my money in full, it’s been eight months now and there is no sign of money. I learnt from the employees that it has shut operations in Bengaluru and is continuing its services in Andhra Pradesh,” Batool stated.
There are numerous others like me not knowing about this fact and all of their hard earned money is riding on a ship that will sink, she added....