Partner of Indian company involved in fraud surrenders in USA

Updated: Jan 26, 2018, 12:19 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon

In a major boost to the ongoing investigation being done by the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) into a white-collar fraud involving an Indian BSE-listed company in USA, one of the four wanted partners has surrendered before a district court

The DOJ will approach the Indian government to seek the extradition of accused siblings Satish and Madhavi Vuppalapati
The DOJ will approach the Indian government to seek the extradition of accused siblings Satish and Madhavi Vuppalapati

In a major boost to the ongoing investigation being done by the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) into a white-collar fraud involving an Indian BSE-listed company in USA, one of the four wanted partners has surrendered before a district court in Washington on January 18. mid-day had reported about the probe on December 18, 2017 in '4 desis indicted for cheating Pune NRI of $18 million'. The accused who recently surrendered is Guru Prasad Rao, who hails from Hyderabad and is based in New Jersey. He is one of the four wanted partners from Prithvi Information Solutions Ltd. (PISL), which is an IT services company incorporated in India that works with various American companies.

Released, on conditions
Speaking to mid-day from US, Kiran Kulkarni, the complainant in the case and founder of Kyko, the company duped by PISL, confirmed the development about Guru's surrender and subsequent release. He said, "Guru pleaded guilty on January 18 and was released on bond with numerous restrictions such as – electronic GPS monitoring (anklet to monitor movements), not leaving the country and surrendering his passport. He also can't travel outside of certain parts of New Jersey where he lives, New York, where he works and Washington, where he has to appear for sentencing and to provide DNA samples, Pittsburgh (for religious reasons)."

Commit another offence and…
In its business dealings with Kyko, PISL had allegedly created sham entities and set up bank accounts in these companies' names, all to dupe and deceive Kyko. Kyko spoke to the real companies and was told that they had not worked with Prithvi for years, and there was no current business relationship. Kyko had not been paid $18 million. Interestingly, the court, in its conditions (mid-day has a copy) has also restricted Guru from using any substance or medication, including prescribed ones, without advance approval by a pre-trial service officer. Also, if Guru commits another offence during the pre-trial period, especially a felony, his sentencing can be increased by a maximum of 10 years. He must also contribute towards the cost of the services according to his financial capabilities, as determined by the location-monitoring specialist.

Extradition to be sought
Meanwhile, Guru and Srinivas Sista, another wanted accused, who is believed to be in India, have already submitted a bankruptcy petition in June 2014 before the court. DoJ has already passed an indictment order against accused siblings Satish and Madhavi Vuppalapati and will soon be approaching the Indian government to seek their extradition, as they are believed to be in Hyderabad. Sista is also likely to be arrested shortly. Numerous attempts to contact PISL were unsuccessful. mid-day also tried to contact Guru, Madhavi and Satish through social media but they remained unavailable for comment.

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