CSF founder accused of cheating

Police have charged Joseph Dias, founder of Catholic-Christian Secular Forum (CSF), with cheating a Vasai village resident after promising to feed 2,000 orphans in Mumbai on Christmas.

They said Dias allegedly appealed for donation to over 8,000 people through his daily e-mail service in December last year to feed orphans.

Malcome D'Souza (22), a two-wheeler insurance agent with IFFCO-Tokio, decided to contribute. "I was moved by the pictures of poor, starving children on the CSF website and decided to donate Rs 2,000," he said.

D'Souza deposited a cheque for the amount on December 19 but when he sought receipt and list of orphans fed, Dias told him his money had not been credited.

"He told me he will give the list only after receiving money. At first, I thought the cheque had not been cleared. But my bank told me money was credited to the CSF account December 24," he said.

D'Souza then approached Deepak Devraj, deputy superintendent of police, Vasai, who phoned Dias.

"Following the call, Dias sent an e-mail claiming he fed 1,070 orphans. But eight orphans denied the claim," Devraj said. D'Souza then met superintendent of police (SP), Thane Rural, Anil Kumbhare, who transferred the case to the economic offences wing (EOW).

"Dias is running a racket. He gave D'Souza receipt after a lot of pressure. We are checking if he has cheated anyone else. D'Souza has all the documents to prove Dias cheated him. We have charged Dias with cheating and will arrest him following a discussion with SP," said Prashant Deshpande, deputy superintendent of police, EOW.

Despite repeated attempts, Dias could not be reached for comment.

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