The ED initiated a money laundering investigation on the basis of the FIRs registered by the Kerala police under sections 406 and 420 of the IPC.
The ED said that the accused had collected huge amounts from various investors by promising them 18% interest per annum, without obtaining any approval of the statutory authorities.
Later, they issued or transferred shares of the group companies having a face value of Rs 10 to the depositors in lieu of the money thus collected by fixing the share price at Rs 120 per share.
The investors were also assured that the shares would be re-purchased by the companies later for Rs 120 per share. But the investors were neither given the returns of 18% as assured nor were the shares repurchased.
The accused had refused to return the principal amount and thereby the investors got cheated resulting in unlawful enrichment of the accused persons.
The ED learnt in the investigation that C.C. William Verghese, the Chairman of BRD Group with the assistance of his associates had persuaded various persons to invest in the BRD Group of Companies.
“From part of the amounts so collected, which are nothing but Proceeds of Crime (PoC), he had purchased various immovable properties in his name, jointly in his name along with his Wife Mary Williams and in the name of his companies namely BRD Car World Limited and SML Finance Limited. All the accused acted with common intention of cheating and thereby committed the offence of money-laundering,” the ED said.
Verghese was arrested by the ED in 2021. Later he was granted bail.
Recently the ED had provisionally attached immovable property worth Rs 7.50 crore against the PoC, which was confirmed by the Adjudicating Authority (PMLA), New Delhi.
Further investigation in the matter is on.