‘Top brass involved in Citibank fraud’


Gurgaon : A day after filing a complaint of cheating against the top brass of the US-headquartered Citibank in the Rs.300 crore scam at its branch here, Sanjay Aggrawal, managing director of Helion Ventures, Wednesday said the scam could not have taken place without the knowledge of senior executives.

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“One person can’t do this. It is a systemic failure and it runs through the organisation. You can’t hold just one person responsible for it,” Aggrawal, who claims to have lost Rs.33 crore in the scam, said at a press conference here.

He said it was normal practice at Citibank to take customers’ signature on blank documents.

“As standard operating practice, Citibank gets its customers to sign on blank documents which allow them to buy and sell securities. That instrument was used to move money into employees’ own accounts rather than my account,” Aggrawal said.

Aggrawal, who co-founded business process outsourcing firm Daksh, which was later taken over by IBM, said he had been investing in a wealth management scheme of Citibank since 2004.

“The fraud took place in the last one year,” he said.

He added that the bank informed him about the fraud in the first week of December.

“The agenda is both about the fact that there has been a wrongdoing at Citibank and they need to own up to that and then make good my losses,” he said.

Aggrawal Tuesday filed a cheating complaint against Citibank and 11 others, including Citigroup’s chief executive officer Vikram Pandit, chairman William R. Rhodes, chief financial officer John Gerspach and chief operating officer Douglas Peterson and relationship manager Shivraj Puri.

In his first information report (FIR) filed at DLF-II police station, Aggrawal accused Shivraj Puri, who is at the centre of the scam, and others of falsification of accounts, breach of trust and criminal conspiracy.

Working as a relationship manager, Puri allegedly cheated investors by asking them to deposit money into accounts managed by him, promising to invest it in schemes that offer very high interest within a short span of time.

Puri reportedly managed to con companies and high net worth individuals after forging Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) documents backing his claims.