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Fake I-T refunds racket cracked

Delhi,Crime/Disaster/Accident, Mon, 16 Apr 2012 IANS

New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) Two people were arrested while five Income Tax officials are being examined in connection with fraudulent refund cheques issued by the Income Tax Department (ITD) that has resulted in illegal withdrawal of more than Rs.6 crore over the last three months.


In the wake of the fraudulent refund cheques, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested two people, Pankaj Kumar Gupta and Amit Kumar Sharma, and discovered at least 1,100 cases of allegedly fraudulent refund cheques.


The accused allegedly in league with IT officials - Surender, Vikash, Yudhvir, Niraj and Kundan of Income Tax office Gurgaon -- gained access to the Central Board of Direct Taxes' (CBDT) latest software system to generate fake IT returns.


The case was registered on March 13, 2012 after a complaint filed by Income Tax Department (ITD) that some unauthorized persons have accessed the ITD application.


The accused persons allegedly manipulated the data and issued 906 fraudulent refunds worth Rs.9,23,57,120.


"Out of the mentioned amount of refunds, an amount of Rs.6,36,93,600 has been en-cashed by the offenders using 77 different bank accounts of different persons in different banks," the complained reveals.


The fraud started with the generation of forged Permanent Account Number (PAN) cards with the help of agents.


During raids in Delhi and Gurgaon, the agency seized 89 PAN cards along with PAN card applications.


The accused, using these PAN numbers, entered the IT system. They generated fake returns and tweaked refund amounts, but they kept these between Rs.50,000 and Rs.1 lakh on each account so that seniors were not alerted.


The complaint alleges that most of the refund cheques were delivered to different house numbers of Gali number 2, Harnath marg, Kapashera area in south Delhi.


The CBI found the postmaster, Mahipal, who was getting RS.200 for the delivery of each cheque, revealed during interrogation that all the cheques were delivered by him to one individual.


Sharma, who was arrested from Burdwan in West Bengal, allegedly opened bank accounts in false names to get these cheques encashed, sources said.



The name of Pankaj Gupta cropped up during investigations and he was also arrested.


"Gupta delivered the refund cheques to Sharma at the cost of 50 percent of the amount of the cheques," said a CBI official.


The CBI team stumbled upon 250 such transactions which were carried out by another group in the previous financial year.


"We are in the process of getting the details of these transactions and may file another case," added an officer.


The CBI is also awaiting details from Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), which handles the software to furnish details regarding IT officials who logged into the system and generated the fake returns.


The CBI registered a case under Section 420 (cheating), 120 b (criminal conspiracy) of IPC and various sections of the IT Act.


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