Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Nov 29:

The designated court to deal with chit fund scam cases in Odisha’s Cuttack today sentenced Shirdi Sai Real Estate Pvt Ltd’s Managing Director Prakash Panda to five years in jail under the Odisha Protection of Interests of Depositors (OPID) Act.


The designated court in addition to sentencing Panda to five years in jail has imposed a fine of Rs 3 lakh.

Panda is the first person to be convicted under the OPID Act.

The court convicted Panda after examining statements of 17 witnesses. He has been convicted under section 6 of the OPID Act.

Panda was arrested by Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Crime Branch from his residence at Bhubaneswar on February 15, 2014, on charges of duping depositors of Rs 1.05 crore.

While Shirdi Sai Real Estates Pvt Ltd had its head office at Bhubaneswar, it had its operations at Balasore, Baripada, and Soro.

Duped depositors from the above places had moved the Orissa High Court after they failed to elicit a proper response from the police despite lodging complaints against the Ponzi firm.

Following which the High Court had ordered the Crime Branch to investigate the matter.

Earlier on Wednesday, the designated court had ordered for the confiscation of properties belonging to the Ponzi firm.

The designated court ordered for public auction of moveable and immoveable properties valued at about Rs 26 lakh belonging to the firm and distributes the proceeds among the duped investors. The properties included two luxury vehicles.