Former Reebok India officials Subhinder Singh Prem and Vishnu Bhagat, the two main accused in an alleged Rs.870 crore scam, have been granted bail by the high court of Punjab and Haryana, according to their lawyer Praveen Agarwal.
“The next course of action would be to get the court order and get our clients out of jail,” said Agarwal.
Prem and Bhagat have been in jail for more than 10 months since their arrest in September. The Gurgaon Police had arrested them on charges of fraud and criminal conspiracy for allegedly siphoning off company funds by creating ghost distributors across the country and forging bills over a period of five years. Adidas AG, which acquired Reebok in August 2005, had filed a police complaint against its former managing director Prem and former chief operating officer Bhagat on 21 May 2012. Twelve more arrests of former Reebok employees and other associates were also made.
The German sportswear maker has said it was ignorant of financial irregularities at the Reebok India unit in the past few years, rejecting accusations that it had in any way been aware of the wrongdoing that led to a fraud.
Adidas Group India in an emailed statement said, “Reebok India spokesperson was not available at the time the query was sent”
The case has been shifted to the Haryana State Crime Branch on a request made by Adidas, the owner of the Reebok brand. “As the local police is generally overburdened with cases, a request was made to transfer the case to the Crime Branch in order to have a complete investigation by a specialized agency,” said Erick Haskell, managing director, Adidas Group India in an emailed response sent to an earlier Mint query in May.
In November 2012, the Gurgaon police had pegged the total loss incurred by Reebok India on account of alleged financial irregularities at Rs.11.3 crore. Meanwhile, a forensic audit of Reebok India Co. by EY had found fake transactions with unauthorized customers, allegedly concocted to exaggerate the company’s revenue and possibly aimed at meeting targets, Mint reported on 21 November.