Citibank fraud: Victim seeks to withdraw complaint


Gurgaon: In a new twist in the Rs.300 crore Citibank fraud, one of the high-profile victims Monday announced he was withdrawing his complaint against senior bank officials including its chief executive, Vikram Pandit. Police said this was not possible.

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“With reference to the FIR registered on Jan 4, 2011, concerning the fraudulent investment of funds from our account, we have today (Monday) decided not to pursue our complaint against Citibank and its senior management. Through discussions with Citibank, we have been apprised of additional facts we were not aware of earlier, and the complaint against Citibank and its senior executive officers is not appropriate,” said Sanjeev Aggarwal, MD, Helion Advisors, in a official statement issued here.

“We regret any inadvertent impact the complaint has had on the reputation of Citibank and its senior executive officers,” said Agarwal, who claimed to have lost Rs.33 crore in the scam.

Aggrawal, who co-founded business process outsourcing firm Daksh that was later acquired by IBM, has filed a cheating case against Citibank and 11 others, including Pandit, chairman William R. Rhodes, chief financial officer John Gerspach and chief operating officer Douglas Peterson and prime accused, bank manager Shivraj Puri, charging them with falsification of accounts, breach of trust and criminal conspiracy.

Gurgaon police contended the FIR is a permanent complaint and the complainant cannot take it back as the investigation has not been finished yet.

“We are still investigating the case and we cannot cancel the FIR as the investigations have not been finished. It is not possible for the complainant to take it back,” Gurgaon Police Commissioner S.S.Deswal said.

Puri, accused of masterminding the fraud, was Friday sent to 14 days’ judicial custody in what is being called one of the biggest banking scams in India.

He allegedly managed to con companies and high net worth individuals after forging a Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) document that purportedly backed his claims about schemes offering high returns.

He surrendered to police Dec 30 and was handed a week-long police remand by a special court in Gurgaon the same day. Later, the police remand of Puri was extended for 6 days Jan 6 and for two more days on Jan 12.

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