Satyam founder B Ramalinga Raju gets 6-month sentence in SFIO case

Satyam founder B Ramalinga Raju gets 6-month sentence in SFIO case

A local court today convicted Satyam founder B Ramalinga Raju, accused of one of the most sensational corporate frauds in the country, and other accused in connection with complaints filed by Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO).

The court sentenced Raju and others to six months' jail term and imposed fines on all the accused.

SFIO, the investigation arm of Union Corporate Affairs Ministry, had filed seven complaints against the erstwhile Satyam Computer Services Limited (SCSL) and its directors for violations of the Companies Act in the Special Court for Economic Offences here in December 2009.

Raju and some of the directors were sentenced to six months' imprisonment and each of them were fined an amount ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 10 lakh, while in other complaints only fines were imposed.

The court directed one of the former directors, Krishna G Palepu, to pay fine of a whopping Rs 2.66 crore in complaint number 394/2009 within two months.

"Out of the seven complaints, the accused including Raju and some others were convicted in six complaints with jail terms and fines while in one complaint where the offence is punishable with fine, they were granted acquittal. The sentences will run concurrently," special prosecutor C Raghu said.

Raju is currently out on bail. Today's court order was suspended to enable the accused file appeals. Raju, former Satyam managing director Rama Raju, and its former chief financial officer Vadlamani Srinivas and former director Ram Mynampati were given jail terms and fines.

Other former Satyam directors including Krishna G Palepu, Manglam Srinivas, Vinod K Dham, former cabinet secretary T R Prasad, ex-director of IIT Prof V S Raju and former dean of ISB Prof Ram Mohan Rao were fined Rs 20,000 each.

SCSL, named in two of the complaints, had paid the compounding fee and thus those offences were compounded by the Company Law Board, special prosecutor Raghu said.

Satyam's company secretary G Jayaraman had also paid the compounding fee.
The SFIO had charged the accused with fudging of balance sheets, deceiving shareholders, taking huge benefits and dividends as directors, and showing unpaid dividends as paid.

The defence lawyers filed a petition seeking suspension of the court order, which was allowed, enabling them to file an appeal within 30 days.

Meanwhile, the CBI court here is likely to pronounce its verdict on December 23 in the case related to accounting fraud at Satyam.

Touted as the country's biggest accounting fraud, the scam came to light on January 7, 2009, after Ramalinga Raju confessed to manipulating company's account books.
Satyam Computer Sesrvices Ltd subsequently merged with Tech Mahindra.

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