The case was registered in Pune and investigated by the Pune CID.
Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday attached assets worth Rs 207 crore belonging to Mahesh Motewar and Samruddha Jeevan Foods India Ltd (SJFIL) in connection with the Ponzi scheme running into multiple crores. Attachment of a helicopter, hotels, plots, and offices was carried out across Maharashtra, Goa, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.
ED officials said that this was a major crackdown on the Ponzi scheme hatched by Motewar, promoter and chief managing director, SJFIL, where money was laundered through a web of 34 shell companies. The scheme’s proceeds were laundered among various group companies, and used to acquire immovable properties (plots, commercial complexes, hotels, flats, bungalows) and movable properties.
An ED officer said, “Investigation into the case revealed that funds generated under the ponzi scheme were laundered for expansion of Motewar’s other businesses like construction, media, hospitality and software among others, and for luxury cars and a helicopter.”
The case was registered in Pune and investigated by the Pune CID. They also filed a charge sheet in which they stated that Motewar and his two wives, along with others, were part of a criminal conspiracy and cheating. The group lured over 20 lakh small investors across India to invest in their livestock business schemes like rearing, sale and purchase of livestock.
Under the pretext of astronomic returns, the group generated funds of over Rs 3,500 crore. Subsequently, the ED commenced investigation under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. During the probe, it came to the fore that the company had obtained huge amounts of money as deposits from investors that were
neither refunded nor met with assured returns.