The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets worth Rs 904 crore of DS Kulkarni Developers Ltd (DSKDL) for cheating and siphoning off deposits worth Rs 1,084 crore from Maharashtra investors for more than a decade.
Kulkarni Developers had cheated the investors promising better returns on their money from 2006 to 2017, the agency said on Friday as it attached the properties under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The attached properties include land, buildings, flats, LIC policies and bank balance.
The immovable properties estimated at Rs 895 crore are spread over Pune, Fursungi (near Pune), Kolhapur, Sangli and Solapur in Maharashtra, Bengaluru and in the US.
The movable assets comprise bank deposits of Rs 4 crore and LIC policies worth Rs 5 crore.
The ED had initiated the probe on the basis of an FIR and chargesheet filed by the Pune police which mentioned that DSKDL Group chairman Deepak S Kulkarni, wife Hemanti and their son Shirish, along with others cheated around 35,000 investors in Maharashtra.
The Kulkarnis are accused of forming eight partnership firms -- D S Kulkarni and Company, D.S. Kulkarni and Associates, DS Kulkarni and Brothers, DS Kulkarni and Sons, DSK and Sons, DSK and Associates, DSK Construction, DSK Enterprises -- under the veil of DSKDL with the sole motive to collect the funds from the public mostly based in Mumbai, Pune, Kolhapur, besides other cities of Maharashtra.
They fraudulently projected these partnership firms to be part and parcel of DSKDL, an ED statement said.
"Although, none of these eight firms have any profit generating business, yet the accused in connivance with others, cheated the public and collected funds from them in the guise of different deposit schemes..."
The ED said the money trail established that the depositors' money was layered through various high value sham transactions under the guise of capital borrowing, advances against property, director's loan among 40 group companies of the DSK group to project it as untainted money and finally laundered to DSKDL, DSK Global Education, DSK Southern, DSK Motors, DSK Developer corporation (US) and other DSK group firms and in the bank accounts of Deepak Kulkarni, his family members and close relatives.
The laundered money was further utilised to purchase land in India and the US in different construction projects of DSKDL for operative expenditure of the DSK group firms, for repayment of bank loans, for payment of premium of high value life insurance policies and conspicuous consumption.
DSKDL purchased land at Fursungi for Rs 332 crore between 2006 and 2009 for the development of a Special Economic Zone. However, in the entire land purchase dealing, the agriculturists got only Rs 147.85 crore and the remaining funds amounting to Rs 184.46 crore were siphoned off to the account of Hemanti Kulkarni, the ED said.