In the PMLA case of TDS refunds fraud to the tune of 264 crore rupees committed in 2019 and 2020 by Tanaji Mandal Adhikari (Senior Tax Assistant, Income Tax Department) and others, the ED has provisionally attached assets worth 69.66 crore rupees.
In a case involving the fraudulent issuance of TDS refunds aggregating 264 Crore rupees from the Income Tax Department by Tanaji Mandal Adhikari and others, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached 32 immovable and movable properties located in Maharashtra/ Karnataka. Total value of these assets is about 69.66 crore rupees. This was done in accordance with the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA).
Land, flats, and luxury cars, etc. are among the attached assets owned by Bhushan Anant Patil, Rajesh Shetty, Sarika Shetty, Kriti Verma, and others. Earlier freezing orders were issued under the PMLA in respect of 33 bank accounts of various entities with a total balance of 96.23 crore rupees and seized cash of 2.85 lakh rupees as well.
ED initiated PMLA investigations based on a FIR registered by CBI Delhi in response to a written complaint from CBDT Vigilance, concerning the fraudulent issuance of TDS refunds for assessment Years 2007-08 and 2008-09.
Tanaji Mandal Adhikari had access to the RSA Tokens and login credentials of his supervisory authorities while working as a Senior Tax Assistant for the Income Tax Department. In collaboration with other individuals, he had orchestrated the fraudulent TDS refund plan. He fraudulently released TDS refunds totaling more than 263 crore rupees and transferred the amounts into various bank accounts, one of which was the bank account of SB Enterprises (a proprietary concern of Bhushan Anant Patil).
Tanaji Mandal Adhikari, Bhushan Anant Patil, Rajesh Shantaram Shetty, and several others have been accused of violating various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, Prevention of Corruption Act and Information and Technology Act according to the chargesheet that the CBI has filed.
The ED’s investigation under the PMLA revealed that, from November 15, 2019 to November 4, 2020, Tanaji Mandal Adhikari created 12 fraudulent TDS refunds, aggregating 263.95 crore rupees, which were fraudulently credited in the account of SB Enterprises, his proprietary firm. These amounts of the proceeds of crime (PoC) were then transferred into the bank accounts of Bhushan Anant Patil and other related individuals and entities, as well as Shell companies.
During the course of the investigation conducted under PMLA, it was discovered that a woman named ‘Kriti Verma’ had sold one of these properties in Gurugram, Haryana, and received the amount of sale consideration in her bank accounts. This particular property was acquired in the year 2021 using PoC of 1.02 Crore rupees. Immediately, search operations were carried out, and the same total amount of sale proceeds of 1.18 crore rupees, was found in her bank accounts before being frozen by the ED.
The investigation conducted by the ED under the PMLA also revealed that immovable properties in the form of lands in the Lonavala, Khandala, Karjat, Pune, and Udupi areas, flats in the Panvel and Mumbai areas, movable assets, three cars of luxury brands such as BMW, Mercedes and Audi were purchased using the PoC.
After discovery of these assets, a provisional attachment order has been issued by the ED under the PMLA, and it attached 32 assets with a combined value of 69.66 crore rupees.
As a result, the ED has so far seized, frozen, or attached assets totaling 166 Crore Rupees out of the total PoC amount of about 264 Crore Rupees.
After reading this post, I’d like to thank the various investigative agencies. We are now receiving regular news and information about discovery of such scams and tax evasions! I’m hoping that agencies like the ED, CBI, and Vigilance shall continue to pursue these con artists and uncover their illegal activities. Jai Hind!