Before PNB fraud: Nirav Modi, Choksi left 18 businessmen, 24 firms bankrupt

Eighteen businessmen and 24 firms who had taken the franchise of Modi and Choksi’s jewellery brand ended up filing criminal complaints of financial bankruptcy

Nirav Modi scam at PNB

The Punjab National Bank (PNB) and other public sector lenders aren’t the only entities that got hit by Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, in a Rs 114 billion fraud that was unearthed at PNB recently. Over two dozen firms and 18 businessmen who had taken franchise of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi’s jewellery brand between 2013 and 2017 also reportedly found themselves at the receiving end of frauds committed by the duo — with the cases involving amounts upto Rs 200 million (Rs 20 crore). | Today’s Paper

Eighteen businessmen and 24 companies who had taken the franchise of Modi and Choksi’s jewellery brand between 2013 and 2017 ended up filing criminal complaints of financial bankruptcy caused by breach and fraud committed by the duo, the Times of India reported. The concerned businessmen and firms, the report added, had set up franchise showrooms of Choksi-owned Gitanjali Jewellery and Gili across several cities and regions: Delhi, Agra, Meerut, Bengaluru, Mysuru, Karnal, and parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Based on records accessed by it, the national daily reported that the first information reports (FIRs) filed in all the aforementioned cases dealt with criminal conspiracy, fraud, and violation of agreement by Choksi’s firms.

According to the records, even after taking security deposits between Rs 30 million (Rs 3 crore) and Rs 200 million (Rs 20 crore) from the franchisees, Choksi’s firms violated agreements and committed fraud in sending stocks of diamond and precious gems to the former.

How did Choksi’s firms cheat these businessmen?
According to the report, under the three-year contract signed between Choksi’s firms and the franchisees, a fixed minimum guarantee commission at 12 per cent per annum on the security deposit, apart from the rental for the jewellery showroom, was mandated to be paid by Choksi.

ALSO READ: Nirav Modi PNB fraud: CBI seals bank’s Brady House Branch in Mumbai

However, the franchisees soon found violations: That Gitanjali would not replenish the stock, send items that were priced much lower than the market rates, or not pay the agreed upon rental.

Who all got caught up in the fraud?
Vaibhav Khurania, a Delhi-based businessman who had opened a retail store in Rajouri Garden, had to shut shop after Gitanjali allegedly failed to send him stocks worth Rs 30 million (Rs 3 crore) after having taken the payment, the national daily reported. The report quoted one particular FIR as saying: “In fact, they sent those items of which the market price was much less, but the showroom price was 3-4 times more of the actual price.” | Readmore…