India’s notorious Satyam Computer Services scandal has taken a turn for the worse, with the country’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) laying new charges against 10 defendants regarding fake invoices, inflated revenues, unauthorised loans and attempted cover ups. These come in a new 200-page charge sheet with 1,549 additional documents and 301 additional witnesses, filed on November 25, before the city court in Hyderabad.
The CBI, (referring to the accused collectively in an official communiqué), has laid charges of creating fake invoices to inflate revenues by US$94 million and forging company board resolutions to obtain unauthorised loans worth US$265 million.
This followed the arrest on November 21 of the company’s former global head of internal audit V S Prabhakar Gupta, who has been charged with “willful suppression of auditing irregularities. ” The accused include Satyam Computer Services ex-chairman Ramalinga Raju, former managing director Rama Raju, former chief financial officer Vadlamani Srinivas.
In the charge sheet CBI claims to have quantified the evidence about the wrongful gains made by the accused 10 and have identified 1,065 assets worth US$76 million acquired by them.
The investigative agency also claims to have collected more evidence against PricewaterhouseCoopers’ two auditors Subramani Gopalakrishnan and Talluri Srinivas, who have already been charged with `knowingly certifying forged and inflated balance sheets’. “Further evidence collected revealed the role of two statutory auditors in the fraud,” said the CBI communiqué.
Furthermore, the CBI said that it has in new evidence “brought out” the conspiracy amongst the accused to cover up the accounting scam in Satyam Computers through the acquisition of Maytas Properties – Raju’s family owned company – and in the process cheating the investors of other companies.
The first charge sheet was filed in March this year against nine accused of the company, now called `Mahindra Satyam’ after been sold to fellow IT services firm Tech Mahindra.
Commenting on the future course of action, the CBI official disclosed that it is contemplating to file more charge sheets pertaining to the diversion of funds and filing of income tax returns.