Hyderabad: Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked promoters of Hyderabad-based Meena Jewellers, Umesh Jethwani his wife Hema, and son Karan for defrauding the State Bank of India to the tune of Rs 364.2 crore.
Banglore unit of CBI was acting on a complaint filed by DGM of SBI. The financial fraud took place between 2015-19 when the promoters availed credit from the bank on fabricated documents and instead diverted the funds.
Having three outlets in Hyderabad, Meena Jewellers which is engaged in trading gold, diamond, silver premium watches, and high-end mobile phones, was set up in 2001. However, six years later it was converted into a private limited company.
"The fraud had taken place while the account was maintained by SBI, an overseas branch in Hyderabad. The accused have illegally diverted the funds, manipulated books of accounts intending to defraud the bank. The company had turned non-performing assets in 2016. The fraud came to light when the bank hired an independent forensic audit team who revealed that, Meena Jewellers managing director Umesh Jethwani his wife Hema, and Son Karan, Overvalued the closing stock, Mismatched in stock provided by the bank, and created a discrepancy in VAT" the CBI said.
The forensic audit report also found that the promoters had forged the signature of two guarantors- namely Manoj Ganwani and Bhavana Ganwani. CBI's probe also found the involvement of its other group companies - Meena Jewellers Exclusive private limited and Meena Jewellers & Diamond private limited.
These companies have availed loans from SBI bank which have now been classified as fraud. A separate complaint has been filed by the bank authorities. Out of Rs 906 Cr sales made by Meena Jewellers between 2016 to 2020, the company reported only bank receipts of Rs 110 Cr in the cash credit account. Discrepancies were also seen in the sales of the company
Liquidation of Meena Jewellers
In 2021, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had ordered the liquidation of Meena Jewellers group for their failure to pay SBI Rs 254 Cr. The NCLT bench in 2019 had ordered for corporate insolvency and it came to pay in 2021.