Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a comprehensive chargesheet in the Rs 263 crore TDS refund scam, implicating 14 individuals and entities, including Kriti Verma, a former GST inspector who gained fame through appearances on TV shows like Bigg Boss and MTV Roadies. The chargesheet, officials said, sheds light on a complex web of financial deceit.
One of the central figures in this elaborate scam is the alleged mastermind, former Income-Tax inspector Tanaji Mandal Adhikari, who, during his tenure, is said to have gained unauthorised access to RSA tokens and login credentials of higher-ranking authorities, a breach that laid the foundation for this fraudulent operation.
Verma’s relationship with others mentioned in chargesheet
The chargesheet also highlights Verma’s relationship with several of the accused, including Bhushan Patil and Rajesh Shetty.
The fraudulent issuance of refunds for the assessment years 2007-08 and 2008-09 serves as the focal point of the investigation, initiated in response to an FIR filed by the CBI. Adhikari, working in collusion with others, manipulated the system to generate TDS refunds exceeding Rs263 crore. These ill-gotten funds were subsequently funnelled into various bank accounts, with M/s SB Enterprises, owned by Bhushan Anant Patil, one of the primary recipients.
In a surprising twist, the ED’s probe under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) revealed that Verma sold a property in Gurugram, believed to have been acquired using Rs 1.02 crore of proceeds from the criminal enterprise. Authorities traced the sale proceeds, totalling to Rs1.18 crore, to her bank accounts, which were subsequently frozen. Verma has also faced scrutiny for her close ties with one of the accused individuals who benefited from the illicit tax refunds.
The scale of this financial malfeasance is staggering. The ill-gotten gains have been used to acquire prime real estate in Lonavala, Khandala, Karjat, Pune, and Udupi, as well as luxury flats in Panvel and Mumbai. Additionally, the culprits indulged in a lavish lifestyle, evident from their ownership of three luxury cars: BMW X7, Mercedes GLS 400d and Audi Q7.