Business News/ Companies / Start-ups/  FIR against BharatPe ex-MD Ashneer Grover, family for defrauding the fintech of 81 cr

New Delhi: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) on Wednesday registered an FIR (first information report) against former BharatPe managing director Ashneer Grover, his wife Madhuri Jain Grover, and family members, including Deepak Gupta, Suresh Jain, and Shwetank Jain. 

The FIR has been registered against the involved parties under eight sections of serious cognizable criminal offences, including 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant, or agent), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will etc), 120B (criminal conspiracy), among others.

“The complaint was received at EOW and enquiry has been conducted into the allegations levelled against alleged persons. From the contents of the complaint and enquiry conducted so far, prima-facie offences punishable under Sections 406/408/409/420/467/468/471/120B IPC (Indian penal code) are made out," the FIR copy reads, a source told Mint.

During the past six months, Grover has been the subject of five lawsuits. He has been embroiled in a legal battle with BharatPe after allegations of financial irregularities surfaced in January 2022. In March last year, Grover was terminated from the company.

In December 2022, the Delhi-based fintech unicorn filed a criminal complaint against Grover and his family with the EOW of Delhi Police, alleging fraud of 81.28 crore, criminal breach of trust, conspiracy, cheating, forgery and destruction of evidence. The same month, BharatPe also filed a civil suit with the Delhi High Court seeking recovery of over 88.67 crore in damages from Grover and family under various heads.

It had filed an arbitration claim in Singapore to claw back restricted shares (1.4%) allotted to Grover and prevent him from using the title of a founder. In January this year, Koladiya sued Grover reclaiming the shares transferred in December 2018. 

Last month, the company’s co-founder Shashvat Nakrani sued Grover over “unpaid shares".

“…The registration of the FIR is a step in the right direction which unearths various suspicious transactions made by the family for their personal pecuniary gains. This FIR will now enable the Law enforcement agencies to investigate deeper into the criminality and bring the culprits to books. We have full faith in our country's judicial and law enforcement systems and are optimistic that this case will reach its logical conclusion. We will continue to extend all possible cooperation to the authorities," BharatPe said in its statement.

MZM legal is advising BharatPe on the criminal complaint.

“After a detailed complaint was filed with the EOW, a thorough inquiry was conducted with voluminous documents on record. We are glad that cognizance has been taken and an FIR is now registered against Ashneer, his wife and others," Zulfiquar Memon, managing partner, MZM Legal LLP said in a statement.

Arti Singh
Arti Singh has been a business journalist for 15 years. Over the last five years, she has closely tracked India's fintech space and written important deep-dive stores. As deputy editor, she covers the intersection of finance and tech at Mint.
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Updated: 11 May 2023, 09:42 AM IST
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