Business & Finance Crime

ED Attaches Rs 7.50 Cr Immovable Properties Of BRD Group Chairman, Wife

BRD Group Chairman Enforcement Directorate

Properties worth Rs. 7.5 cr of the BRD Group Chairman has been attached before the PMLA Special Court in a money-laundering case by ED on the basis of an FIR registered by Kerala Police

Ernakulam: The Enforcement Directorate on Monday said it had attached immovable properties worth Rs 7.50 crore, belonging to the BRD Group of Companies chairman and his wife, in a money-laundering case. The agency had filed a complaint before the PMLA Special Court Ernakulam against William Verghese, Chairman, BRD Group of Companies, and five other accused on November 11, 2022. Court has taken cognizance of the prosecution complaint filed by the ED on November 18. ED initiated the money-laundering investigation on the basis of first information reports (FIRs) registered by Kerala Police.

According to ED, the accused persons, for making quick money, had collected huge amounts from various general public /investors, by way of deposits/investments, by luring them while claiming to provide 18 percent interest per annum, without obtaining any approval from statutory authorities.

Later, they issued or transferred shares of the group companies having a face value of Rs 10 to the depositors in lieu of the money thus collected by fixing the share price at Rs 120 per share. The investors were also assured that the shares would be re-purchased by the companies later at Rs 120 per share. But the investors were neither given the returns of 18 percent as assured nor were shares re-purchased. The accused had refused to return the principal amount.

The investigation by ED revealed that CC William Verghese, Chairman of BRD Group, with the assistance of his associates had persuaded various persons to invest in BRD Group of Companies and also had thereby collected various amounts from the general public/investors and committed cheating with the purpose of making illegal money with a dishonest intention during the above period, thereby had committed a scheduled offense.

From part of the amounts so collected, which are nothing but proceeds of crime (PoC), he had purchased various immovable properties in his name, jointly in his name along with his wife Mary Williams, and in the name of his companies namely BRD Car World and SML Finance, the agency said.

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All the accused acted with the common intention of cheating and thereby committed the offense of money laundering. William Verghese was also arrested by ED on February 2, 2021. Subsequently, the Additional Sessions Judge, Ernakulam, granted him conditional bail.

ED had provisionally attached immovable properties worth Rs 7.50 crore against the PoC, which was confirmed by Adjudicating Authority (Prevention of Money Laundering Act), New Delhi. Further investigation is under progress.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by HW News staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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