Exactly a month ago, B. Ramalinga Raju, then chairman of Satyam Computer Services Ltd revealed in a letter that shocked the world that he had, over the years, fudged the company’s books to the tune of at least Rs7,136 crore. The disclosure came three weeks after Satyam’s board approved a merger of Maytas Infra Ltd and Maytas Properties Pvt. Ltd, two companies promoted by the Raju family with the software firm. The deal was scrapped just a day later in the face of shareholder backlash. Satyam’s shares plunged and the company hired DSP Merrill Lynch Ltd to help it address the situation. While going through Satyam’s books, the finance firm discovered what it terms material irregularities and reported these to regulators on 6 January. Raju came clean a day later.
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Events moved rapidly after that. Raju and several of his associates were arrested. As were auditors of Price Waterhouse, Satyam’s then auditor. The board was dismissed by the government that put in place a new board. And on Thursday, a new chief executive, albeit an insider, was appointed. Mint presents a bird’s eye view of India’s biggest corporate fraud, the players, the issues and the future scenarios.