Five held for siphoning off Rs 3 cr by filing fake I-T returns

Five held for siphoning off Rs 3 cr by filing fake I-T returns

The accused were identified as Dilip Vyas, I-T inspector Pramod Prabhakar, senior tax assistant Rajesh Pillai, I-T employee Raju Nagpure and television artiste Manoj Sangtiyani, CBI officials said.

While the main accused Vyas was nailed on February 17, the rest were arrested today, they said, adding that four more accused Mohan Ghadge, Sandeep Roy, Nidan Dalvi and I-T employee Shrikant are still absconding.
The officials said although Rs three crore fraud has come into light so far, the cheating amount may go over Rs 14 crore.

Explaining the modus operandi, CBI Joint Director (west zone) R R Singh said, "Vyas, posing as a chartered accountant, has collected PAN card numbers from 23 persons and bank account details and blank post-dated cheques signed by them.
"He then prepared fake IT returns, computation sheets and other related documents of these PAN card holders and provided the details to his aide Prabhakar.
"Subsequently, Prabhakar entered the said data into the computer system of IT department and generated e-refund which was electronically transferred to bank accounts of the PAN card holders."

Vyas then transferred the I-T refunds in his and aides' bank accounts in United Bank of India and Kotak Mahindra Bank using signed cheques issued by the PAN card holders, leaving one per cent of the refund amount in the holders accounts, Singh said.
"In this manner, the accused have transfered about Rs three crore in their account in the last seven months. The accused had another 70 PAN card holders' details. The fraud might go over Rs 14 crore," he said.
The cheating came to light when one of the I-Ts top officials were tipped off about it on January 19, Singh said.

"Prabhakar knew all loopholes in the Information Technology Department and practises of the I-T department and took advantage of them to execute their plan," Singh said.
Stating that the software of the I-T is incapable of making online checking of the TDS payments, Singh said the officials should also regularly change their passwords to prevent misuse of the system.
CBI is also probing if the 23 genuine PAN card holders had any idea about the fraudulent practice by the accused, he said.

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