Ponzi schemes: SFIO lens on 63 companies this fiscal


Ponzi schemes: SFIO lens on 63 companies this fiscal

New Delhi, Dec 25 : The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) has taken up probes into 63 companies in the current fiscal for allegedly indulging in illegal money pooling activities.

This translates to an average of seven companies being referred for investigations per month (since the figures are till December 18).

The count of such companies being referred to the white collar crime probe agency is also the highest in the last three financial years, according to data available with the corporate affairs ministry.

The agency comes under this ministry, which is implementing the Companies Act.

A total of 63 companies which were involved in “chit fund/MLM (Multi-Level Marketing)/ ponzi activities” have been assigned to the SFIO for detailed probes.

The number could go up since there are three months to go before the financial year comes to a close.

In 2016-17, the number of such companies that came under the SFIO lens was just 27 — much lower than 47 seen in 2015- 16.

As per the data, the SFIO investigations were ordered into the affairs of 51 companies for alleged ponzi schemes.

Generally, ponzi schemes are illegal money pooling activities wherein gullible investors are lured with promises of high returns on investments in a short period.

Authorities, including both at the central and state levels, have been stepping efforts to curb these kind of schemes as a large number of people have fallen prey to such activities.

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