ED files charge sheet against BRD Group, its chairman and 5 others

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday said it has filed a prosecution complaint (chargesheet) against BRD Group of Companies Chairman William Varghese and five others before a special PMLA court in Ernakulam.

The ED launched the money laundering probe on the basis of an FIR registered by the Kerala Police under sections 406 and 420 of the IPC.

The ED said the accused had collected huge sums of money from various investors by promising 18% interest per annum without the approval of statutory authorities.

Later, he issued or transferred shares of the group companies with a face value of Rs 10 to the depositors, thus fixing the share price at Rs 120 per share in return for the money collected.

Investors were also assured that the shares would later be bought back by the companies at Rs 120 per share. But the investors were neither given the assured return of 18% nor the shares were bought back.

The accused had refused to refund the principal amount and thus the investors were cheated resulting in illegal enrichment of the accused persons.

ED probe found that CC William Varghese, chairman of BRD Group, with the help of his associates, had persuaded several people to invest in BRD Group of Companies.

“Out of the portion of the amount so collected, which is nothing but Proceeds of Offense (POC), he has executed various projects in his own name, jointly with his wife Mary Williams and in the name of their companies namely BRD Car World Ltd. and SML Finance Ltd. All the accused acted with the common intention of cheating and thereby committed the offense of money-laundering,” the ED said.

Varghese was arrested by the ED in 2021. Later he got bail.

Recently, the ED provisionally attached immovable assets worth Rs 7.50 crore against the POC, which was confirmed by the Adjudication Authority (PMLA), New Delhi.

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Further investigation is on in the matter.

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