Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Baripada, Sep 9:
A local court in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district today convicted three persons of a West Bengal-based ponzi company for duping depositors of money.
Chief Judicial Magistrate, Baripada, sentenced Debasis Mahanta, the director of Happy Life Reality India Limited, to five years’ rigorous imprisonment (RI) while two other agents were punished with 4 years’ RI each.
Mahanta would be subjected to RI for one more year in case of default in payment of penalty of Rs 1 lakh, CJM Sanjay Kumar Sahu said.
The two agents, who have also been fined with Rs 50,000 each along with 4 years’ RI for defrauding the investors, are local school teachers.
While Pranab Behera worked as a teacher of Badakhilari School, the other Jevaan Kumar Das worked as teacher at Sidhupura School. Both of them were out on bail while Mahanta is in the jail since their arrest in 2013.
One Bhagabat Behera had lodged a complaint against six persons at the Udala police station after being cheated by the ponzi firm.
While three persons were arrested, three others from West Bengal are on the run. They were booked under relevant sections of the Prize Chit and Money Circulation Ban Act 1978.
The ponzi company had taken Rs 1, 20,000 from Behera in two instalments with an assurance to return the money with 24 per cent interest.
The conviction of the three is being said to be the first conviction in Odisha in connection with the chit fund scam.