ED Finds Prima Facie Case Against JPMorgan In Amrapali Scam

New Delhi:  The Enforcement Directorate on Monday told the Supreme Court it has found prima facie evidence that global financial firm JP Morgan violated the Foreign Exchange Management Act in the Amrapali Group matter.

The ED, represented by Joint Director Rajeshwar Singh, told a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra that it will wrap up its investigation on the multi-national firm very soon and submit its report in the apex court on the next hearing scheduled on December 13.

The ED told the apex court that it has recorded the statements of the company’s country head in connection with the firm’s dealings with the now defunct Amrapali Group. Singh said that though the investigation is ongoing on the matter, but prima facie it is evident the firm was allegedly involved in the violations of provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the agency will take actions accordingly. The bench asked the ED to conduct an unbiased investigation into the matter.

The Supreme Court, in its July verdict, ordered a probe into the financial fraud by the Amrapali Group, which included diversion of money of 42,000 homebuyers. The ED had begun an investigation into the Amrapali case, where it was likely to question officials of JP Morgan. The forensic audit report plays a crucial role to ascertain the nature of involvement of JP Morgan, and how did it allegedly help Amrapali Group in siphoning off homebuyers’ funds.

The apex court also directed Amrapali home buyers to clear outstanding dues by January 31, either through installments or full payment for completion of projects. The court also asked Additional Solicitor General Vikramjeet Banerjee to seek instruction utility of Rs 25,000 crore fund, announced by Centre on November 6 in connection with stalled real estate projects, in the present case. The court observed this fund could be treated as a loan, and asked the ASG to explore the modalities involved.

The top court also asked 28 banks, involved in the housing projects through Amrapali Group or homebuyers, to disburse the remaining amount within one month. “Rs 105 crore out of around Rs 3,000 crore outstanding amount has been deposited by the home buyers,” the bench observed.



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