The initial invoices from five companies associated with the troubled co-founder of BharatPe, Ashneer Grover’s family, reportedly diverted funds from the fintech unicorn under the guise of recruitment services. According to an initial report from the Economic Offences Wing, these invoices presented bank account details that were generated after their issue dates. For instance, an invoice raised on August 7, 2019, for Rs 39.9 lakh, corresponded to a bank account opened on August 22, 2019. This suggests a potential backdating of invoices to illicitly channel funds from BharatPe.
The investigating agency received these invoices from both the vendors and the complaining company. It determined that these fraudulent invoices were fabricated after the establishment of the firms’ bank accounts, which were seemingly set up solely for the purpose of embezzling funds and providing wrongful gains to the accused parties. The registered addresses of the eight alleged HR firms were traced back to family members or relatives of Madhuri Jain, Suresh Jain (Madhuri’s father), and Shwetank Jain (Madhuri’s brother). Approximately Rs 7.60 crore was credited to these firms, with the majority of the funds originating from the complainant company, RIPL.
Last year, BharatPe filed a criminal complaint with the Economic Offences Wing, accusing the Grovers of 17 offenses, including embezzlement, forgery, and criminal breach of trust, carrying a potential ten-year jail term upon conviction. In a related civil suit, Madhuri Jain allegedly approved payments totaling Rs 7.6 crore to eight vendors who purportedly provided no recruitment services.
BharatPe contends that these vendors, closely associated with Jain and her family, were involved in fraudulent transactions related to recruitment services. The company also filed a civil suit seeking over Rs 88 crore in damages for the alleged misappropriation of funds by Ashneer Grover, Madhuri Jain, and other family members. The suit details a complex network of fake bills and misused company funds.
In addition to these accusations, the lawsuit claims that Grover made negligible contributions to BharatPe’s technology or concept. It asserts that his association with the company began in 2018 with a small investment, and since 2022, the company has faced controversies surrounding inappropriate language and threats made by its founder.
Following these allegations, Grover took a voluntary leave and later resigned as the company’s MD, while Madhuri Jain was terminated from her position as the former head of controls over allegations of fund misappropriation.