Over 200 plots of land and flats in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka have been attached in connection with a probe against alleged Ponzi scheme promoters who are accused of duping numerous investors, the ED said on Tuesday.
According to the Enforcement Directorate, a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act was issued to attach these properties. The assets are worth Rs 110 crore in total and are held in the name of Maithri Plantation and Horticulture Pvt Ltd (MPHPL), its sister concerns Sree Nakshatra Builders and Developers India Pvt Ltd (SNBDIPL), Maithri Realtors India Pvt. Ltd (MRIPL) and their directors Lakku Konda Reddy, Lakku Malayadri Reddy, Lakku Madhava Reddy and Kolikalapudi Brahma Reddy, it said.
Out of the 210 assets, 196 properties are in Andhra Pradesh, 13 in Telangana, and one in Karnataka. The properties include open lands, plots and flats, the ED said in a statement.
”MPHPL ran an illegal Ponzi scheme and solicited deposits from the general public without any permission and without any kind of license to run a collective investment scheme or NBFC (non-banking financial company).” ”It collected money from lakhs of gullible depositors who were encouraged to do so by a network of organized agents who were, in turn, promised very high commissions on the invested amounts,” the ED alleged.
Investors were lured with ”false” promises of very high returns or delivery of a plot in dream projects on maturity, it said.
The federal agency said its probe into the money trail found that the funds collected from the public by MPHPL were ”illegally diverted” to other group companies like SNBDIPL and MRIPL for their real estate business and several properties were acquired in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, and Karnataka.
”The accused managed to collect Rs 288.42 crore from lakhs of gullible investors. To date, out of the collected amount, MPHPL has failed to return/repay nearly Rs 158.14 crore to the investors,” it said. The money laundering case was filed by the ED after studying a dozen FIRs filed by the Andhra Pradesh Police against the accused in March 2013.