Fraud: Couple lured people with hefty initial returns

Ankur Sachdeva

'Offered 20% return on investment, spent lavishly to look convincing'

The couple arrested in Maharashtra for Rs 500 crore fraud worked hard to gain the trust of their investors then they broke the trust and pocketed the money invested with them, police said on Monday.

Ulhas Prabhakar Khaire (33) and his wife Raksha (30) were arrested from Ratnagiri, Maharashtra, on Saturday.

While they have been accused of conning at least 2.5 lakh people of nearly Rs 500 crore, police said the two ran an investment fraud in Delhi through their company Stock Guru India. They promised a handsome return of 20 per cent on a minimum investment of Rs 10,000 and in the initial period gave investors the sum, police said.

Once they won the confidence of the investors and collected enough money, Ulhas and Raksha would disappear.

According to police, their passports point to overseas holidays in places such as Bangkok, Macau, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

The couple has claimed that their apartment in Dwarka was raided in January 2011 by I-T sleuths, who recovered Rs 30 crore in cash. The claim is being verified by the police.

A police raid in 2011 reportedly found iPods, tablet PCs, expensive watches and perfumes from their Dwarka apartment. Police also found toy guns and later learned that Ulhas collected toy guns.

Police said Raksha's father had died and she was not in touch with her mother. Ulhas had snapped ties with his family after he was accused by his brother, in partnership with whom he ran a wine shop in Nagpur, of cheating. A case was registered against Ulhas in 2004, forcing him to flee Nagpur.

Raksha, who had completed BA (second year) in photo journalism, initially worked with a finance company in Bangalore.

The two moved into the world of fraud after obtaining credit cards from various banks under the names of Rohit and Kanchan Khatri. They cheated banks in Bhubaneshwar and Raipur before going to Dehradun in early 2009.

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