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Supplementary chargesheet likely against former Reebok executives

Source : BUSINESS_STANDARD
Last Updated: Sun, Nov 25, 2012 19:22 hrs

The Gurgaon police and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) are expected to file a supplementary chargesheet against two former top executives of Reebok India — Subhinder Singh Prem and Vishnu Bhagat —who have been accused of fraud and financial wrongdoing by the company.

During the seven-month probe by the police, the investigators have said they estimate Prem and Bhagat were involved in a fraud amounting to Rs 11.3 crore and not Rs 870 crore, as it was earlier estimated when the company had registered a case against the two former executives. A total of 12 people have been named in the case.

“The possibility of filing an additional chargesheet cannot be ruled out at this stage. The SFIO is yet to share its investigation report with us. The total amount of fraud, according to our finding, is little over Rs 11 crore,” said Maheshwar Dayal, deputy commissioner of police, who is heading the special investigation team formed to probe the case.

The SFIO is expected to make some additional charges to what has already been found by the Gurgaon Police against the two accused in the fraud. The investigative agency of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs will refer the additional charges to the police, which could then file a supplementary chargesheet in the case.

Reebok had said in the first information report (FIR) that the internal investigation by the company had found the duo was operating four secret warehouses — two in Bijwasan in Palam Vihar and two in Vasant Vihar — where they used to keep all the goods that were diverted from the company. Apart from financial wrongdoing, Prem and Bhagat had also allegedly produced fake documents to support their claims before the company.

A senior SFIO official said, “We are almost through with our investigation but we will have to wait for the audited accounts because it is crucial to the probe, mainly to sustain our charges.” He refused to reveal the nature of additional charges found during its investigation.

In September, the sportswear maker had got two months’ extension from the RoC to file its audited accounts for a 15-month period — from January 1, 2011, to March 31, 2012. According to the norms, companies are required to file their audited annual accounts to the regulator by September 30.

However, in view of the alleged financial irregularities in the company in the past few years, and the ongoing investigations by various agencies, the company had told RoC that it could not finalise its statutory audit of accounts by December and instead, it wanted to file the same for a 15-month period.

A senior corporate affairs ministry official said Reebok had not sought any further extension in the date for filing accounts to the RoC.



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