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Ramalinga Raju, Former Satyam chief declared 'pauper' in US court
January, 28th 2010

Ramalinga Raju, former chairman of Satyam Computers, who last year confessed to have inflated his company's assets by over $ 1 billion, was declared a pauper by a court here exempting him from paying court costs.

New York judge Barabara S Jones approved 'pauper' status for Raju, his brother Rama Raju, Satyam's former chief executive officer, and Srinivas Vadlamani, the company's former head of finance.

In October 2009, the defendants filed an "in forma pauperis" and for the appointment for a pro bono counsel.

According to court documents, the accused stated they are "unable to engage an attorney in the US to defend (themselves) in the class action litigation and to pay any court fees or to meet any financial obligations which might be imposed by this court".

"The court finds that defendants have adequately demonstrated that they are unable to pay costs as described in the federal law," US District Judge Jones said.

The judge however denied the request for a pro bono counsel as the "defendants are incarcerated in a foreign country and it would be unusually difficult for the appointed counsel to meet and otherwise competently represent Defendants under the circumstances".

On 7 January 2009, Raju, 55, admitted that Satyam's accounts had been falsified by over $ 1 billion, in what became India's largest corporate scandal.

In November, the CBI said that fraud was 40 per cent larger than originally estimated. The former CEO of Satyam is being held in India.

"It was like riding a tiger, not knowing how to get off without being eaten," he said, after the scandal broke. The IT company was taken over by Tech Mahindra.

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