New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate on Saturday said it has attached assets worth Rs 261 crore in connection with its money laundering probe against a Haryana-based multi-level marketing group that allegedly perpetrated ponzi schemes and cheated investors.
It said a provisional order, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), for attachment of residential plots, agricultural lands and residential units belonging to Hisar-based Future Maker Life Care Private Limited and its two Directors Radheshyam and Bansilal, their family members and associates has been issued.
The 16 immovable properties that have been attached are located in Hisar, Adampur, Kulam, Delhi and Chandigarh apart from bank balances worth Rs 252 crore kept in 34 accounts. The total value of the attachment is Rs 261 crore, it said. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) said it filed a PMLA case in March this year after taking cognisance of FIRs registered against the group by the Telangana police for cheating common public by propagating a false theme of "a life turning opportunity to earn income of Rs 20,000 to Rs 10 lakhs per month".
It said the group invited gullible people to become members of their ponzi pyramid scheme "in the guise of" multi-level marketing by selling products like suit length and edible items. "They (promoters of the group) extensively advertised their commission model in which very high commissions were paid for enrolment of new members in the down links of the pyramid," the ED said.
It alleged funds were fraudulently collected from subscribers as deposit towards membership in the scheme through a chain of agents spread across India. These deposits collected through the schemes were illegally diverted into the personal accounts of the directors, their family members and other associates and to other shell companies incorporated by the two directors, the ED said.
"Primary objective of the promoters of the company is to lure the gullible public with promises of huge commissions and with dreams of becoming rich without much effort quickly," it said.
"They also cheated the public by falsely claiming that their fraud pyramid scheme was a legitimate direct selling network scheme by introducing sub-standard products like cheap suit lengths and supplements," the agency said. Probe found that the accused have fraudulently collected around Rs 2,950 crore from lakhs of members and the same has been identified as the proceeds of crime in this case, it said.