AGM of Bank of Maharashtra convicted for loan fraud of Rs 3.7 crores

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A CBI court on Monday convicted 10 people, including a former assistant general manager (AGM), of the Bank of Maharashtra for causing a loss of ₹3.73 crore to the public sector bank by availing credit facilities and imposed a fine of ₹5.11 crore on them. An amount of ₹4.50 Crore would go to the bank towards the loss.

The prosecution was initiated after Vikas Chhapekar – then general manager of the bank – had filed a complaint with the CBI alleging that the accused had caused a loss to the bank of ₹3.73 crore, which also included accrued interest amounting to ₹1.04 crore.

The main accused have been identified as Dileep Deshpande, then assistant general manager at the Bandra branch of the bank, Mukesh Shah and Shreyansh Sheth, directors of SPL Technochem Ltd, a public limited company.

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Deshpande was the assistant general manager from August 2006 to June 2007. In a loan application submitted in September 2006, Shah and Sheth deliberately and with fraudulent intention suppressed details of their sister concerns and associated firms. They also did not inform the bank that the company was also banking with other banks and false income tax returns were used to show higher personal net worth.

CBI said that the directors of SPL Technochem Ltd and associate concerns misutilised the credit facility which was meant for the purchase of raw material and cheated the Bank of Maharashtra and the funds were diverted to multiple sister concerns – Lalit Polyster Pvt Ltd, Kalpataru Comtrade Pvt. Ltd, Sabrang Polymers Pvt. Ltd, Vision Agencies Pvt Ltd, Sharp Industries Ltd, Aakar Laminators Ltd, Cat Cosmetics & Healthcare Pvt. Ltd, and Swastik BioAgro Tech P. ltd.

The CBI claimed that Sheth’s family members, Dhumil Sheth, Vilesh Sheth, Vishal Sheth, Hashmukh Sheth and Vinod Sheth were directors in these companies along with Manoj Shah.

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It was alleged, Sheth and Deshpande suppressed the fact that the former was a director in Lalit Polyster Pvt. Ltd, which also had availed a credit facility of ₹7 crore from the bank. Besides, the details of the web of companies where Sheth family members were directors were also not submitted to the bank.

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