Monday, January 19, 2009

Satyam plot thickens

After the multi-thousand crore Satyam scam rocked the country two weeks ago, more skeletons are expected to tumble out of the cupboard. The government has decided to widen its net and go after real-estate firms Matyas Infra and Maytas Properties — also promoted by the family of Satyam’s erstwhile chief B Ramalinga Raju.

As the multi-pronged probe against the Raju brothers — and others who were possibly guilty — continues, the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), which is spearheading the investigation against Satyam, has been asked to probe books of the two Maytas companies. “There seems to be a nexus between Satyam, Maytas Properties and Maytas Infra,” PC Gupta, Minister of Corporate Affairs, said.

In an abortive deal, Satyam had earlier attempted to buy out the two companies. The overnight move, however, met with investor outrage and prompted the board to go back on its decision. Ramalinga Raju later in his confession letter admitted that the move was aimed at getting real assets on the company’s balance sheet in lieu of inflated ones.

A report by the Registrar of Companies (RoC) has said that falsification of books and over statement of Satyam’s financial position is to the tune of Rs 5,000-6,000 crore.

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