New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday filed a charge- sheet against Pearls Group and its chief Nirmal Singh Bhangoo in connection with a ponzi scam involving over Rs 48,000 crore. Apart from Bhangoo, who is in judicial custody, three of his colleagues and several of his commission agents have also been named in the ED charge sheet filed in a special court here under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The ED, which started the probe after lodging an FIR in 2015 based on the Central Bureau of Investigation’s case, had in January attached Australia-based assets of Pearls Group and Bhangoo worth Rs 472 crore. The CBI had arrested Bhangoo and his three colleagues in 2016 following allegations that they collected funds from investors in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and other states through Ponzi schemes, in the name of real estate projects.
Bhangoo, his companies PACL and PGFL, as well as lakhs of his commission agents were accused of cheating 5.5 crore investors on the pretext of sale and development of agriculture land. The companies made false allotments of land to investors even though they did not own any land in their own name.
Bhangoo and his companies promised the investors that allotment would be done on their investment between 90 and 270 days and if not, handsome returns would be paid. The Enforcement Directorate said the promoters and directors of PACL and PGFL collected more than Rs 48,000 crore of funds from investors all over the country through a collective investment scheme in the garb of sale and development of agriculture land. Earlier the amount was estimated at over Rs 45,000 crore. (IANS)