This Article is From Jan 05, 2011

Citibank fraud: FIR names CEO Vikram Pandit

Gurgaon: The senior-most men at Citibank are now featuring in the controversy over a 300-crore scam pulled off by former manager, Shivraj Puri, who worked at the bank's Gurgaon branch.

Puri was arrested last week and has been interrogated extensively by the Gurgaon police. On Tuesday, an investor named Sanjeev Aggarwal who was duped by Puri has filed an FIR with the Gurgaon Police which names the Citi Group CEO Vikram Pandit, his Senior Advisor William Rhodes, and Douglas Peterson, the Chief Operating Officer of Citibank North America.

Puri has allegedly told the police that the top rung of Citibank was aware of how his scam worked.

Meanwhile, a statement by Citibank late Tuesday night said it had identified the fraud and immediately reported the matter to the regulator and the law enforcement agencies. (Read: Citibank statement on Puri's claims)

The statement dismissed allegations by Puri against senior executives of the bank.

"His claims against senior executives are completely without basis and we intend to contest them vigorously", the statement said.

It was on Citi complaint that the Gurgaon police lodged an FIR and are currently investigating the matter. "Citi will continue to work with the authorities on this investigation", it said.

Puri reportedly promised corporate clients and High Net worth Individuals (HNIs) high-return schemes. He deposited their money in accounts in the names of his family and friends, and then diverted the money to the markets.

On Monday, the Hero Group's Sanjay Gupta was arrested. He is the group's Assistant Vice President Hero Group has admitted that it was a victim of Puri's scam. The police says nearly 20 other firms invested with Puri.

Gupta is accused of accepting commissions from Puri in return for sending the Hero Group's money to him.

(With PTI Inputs)