BHUBANESWAR: Police on Wednesday filed preliminary chargesheet in a trial court here against Artha Tatwa (AT) Group CMD Pradeep Sethy and six others accusing them of embezzling public deposits worth crores of rupees. The development came a day after the state government announced Rs 300-crore corpus fund for victims of various chit fund companies.
The police submitted the 515-page chargesheet in the court of SDJM. "We will file the final chargesheet soon," said DCP Nitinjeet Singh. Sources said the preliminary chargesheet quoted the amount cheated by the company at Rs 6 crore even as the police earlier said nearly Rs 350 crore had been misappropriated by AT Group in Odisha. "Our chargesheet focused on diversion of public deposits into other business illegally by AT Group," said Singh.
While Sethy was arrested on May 12, five directors Jagabandhu Panda, Srikrishna Padhy, Manoj Patnaik and Mohamad Haniff were arrested subsequently. Two others Jhuma Chakraborthy and Mrinmay Siyal, whose names were mentioned in the chargesheet, had obtained anticipatory bails.
Nearly 17 cheating cases were registered against Sethy at different police stations of Odisha. Soon after his arrest by kharvela Nagar police, he told the media that he bribed several ministers and politicians to shield his business. But police had since rubbished his claim. There had been wildcat protests against AT Group by duped investors across the state. Police have so far seized assets worth nearly Rs 220 crore from AT Group.