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Satyam paid Income-Tax on imaginary interest: SFIO
April, 18th 2009

Satyam Computer Services disgraced founder B Ramalinga Raju had transferred its fictitious wealth running into hundreds of crores from several current accounts to fake fixed deposits in banks and also paid income tax on the imaginary interest so earned, the Serious Fraud Investigation Office findings have revealed.

The move was aimed to give the companys fictitiously shown earnings a transparent look. The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), which on Monday submitted before the government its final report on the Satyam financial scandal, has said that the beleaguered software major paid income tax on imaginary interest on fixed deposits which were non-existant.

The investigating authorities reason that the idea behind the move was to show that fake earnings, as shown in its books of accounts, are clean.

The idea behind such fund transfers was to highlight a prudent business practice wherein companies usually move their money, if kept in current accounts, to fixed deposit accounts so as to yield a higher rate of interest, a government official, on condition of anonymity, told ET.

For this offence, the SFIO has found Raju guilty under various section of the Indian Penal Code including 409, which talks of breach of trust. Apart from Ramalinga Raju, the SFIO has levelled allegations against two more company executives apart from Price Waterhouses S Gopalakrishnan and Srinivas Talluri. The official said that while the first four have been found to be directly involved, PWs auditors are guilty of gross negligence.

During the investigation into the case, the SFIO, income-tax department and capital markets regulator Sebi have individually contacted Satyams bankers to check the veracity of the deposit receipts which the company had with them.

Satyam had earlier claimed that it had fixed deposits with Citi Bank, HDFC Bank, BNP Paribas and HSBC. The investigating authorities had found some glaring errors in the confirmation letters that were issued by the banks, with some fixed deposit receipts found to be carrying false authorised signatures.

Though, the SFIO found traces of siphoning of funds, the report has not levelled any allegations as the matter is being probed by other agencies. The investigation, however, states that the company had raised fictitious export invoices worth Rs 5,057 crore, the official said.

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