Kolkata, March 4 (IANS) The Rose Valley Group came into focus after the Saradha ponzi scam broke in early 2013. The same year, the corporate affairs ministry named Rose Valley as one of the 73 companies involved in ponzi schemes in West Bengal.
Having cast its net across the states of West Bengal, Tripura, Assam, Odisha, Jharkhand and Maharashtra among others, the company is alleged to have raised close to Rs.15,000 crore.
The group – involved in sectors like realty, hospitality, media and films – has been under the scanner of various central agencies including market regulator SEBI, the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Found guilty of running “collective investment scheme” (CIS) without necessary approvals, the SEBI in June 2014 had ordered the company to refund the money to the investors and barred it barred from accessing the securities market.
The SEBI had also warned the company of attachment and recovery proceedings if it failed to refund the money.
Earlier, SEBI in 2011 had passed an interim order barring the group from raising public money through its unapproved CIS.
The group had then moved the Calcutta High Court challenging the order but it was dismissed. It then filed an appeal before a division bench challenging the legality of the order. However, the higher bench too dismissed the appeal in July 2013.
Subsequent to the dismissal of the appeal, the SEBI ordered refund of investors money.
While the ED attached 2,631 bank accounts of the group involving Rs.295 crore in November 2014, a Calcutta High Court division bench put a stay on the search and seizure order of the central agency.
Its properties were confiscated in Odisha following a court order on February 25.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in December last year had told the Rajya Sabha that the Rose Valley Group of companies had collected an estimated Rs.15,000 crore from investors.
Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha, in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha last month, had said the Saradha Group and the Rose Valley raised Rs.12,740 crore illegally.
According to Sinha, investigation revealed that the Rose Valley Group raised as much as Rs.10,281 crore from investors while Saradha firms had mobilised Rs.2,459 crore.
The Rose Valley Group was one of the sponsors of Indian Premier League city franchise Kolkata Knight Riders, and were also the title sponsor of an international chess meet in Kolkata in 2012.