NAGPUR-When it came to conning people,Ulhas Prabhakar Khaire, the alleged mastermindof the Rs 1,100 crore Stockguru scam, did not spare his own family. Police say Ulhas fooled his Nagpur-based mother into believing that he was dead to avoid being declared a proclaimed offender.
The 33-year-old master conman and his wife, Raksha Urs, 30 — both arrested from Ratnagiri, Maharashtra — are accused of duping an estimated two lakh investors through their firm, Stockguru.India, which promised lucrative returns. The couple disappeared last year with investors’ money worth hundreds of crores.
“We have found out that Ulhas’ family, including his mother, sister and brother, had no clue of his movements and thought he was dead since he had not contacted them after 2004. That year, he fled Nagpur after being released on bail in a land fraud case in which he tried to cheat his business partner,” said Sandeep Goel, joint CP (EOW).
Sources claimed that Ulhas even sent a photo of his “dead body” to his family, but senior Delhi Police officers deny this.
Investigators have so far unearthed and frozen more than 100 banks accounts operated by Ulhas. Police claim Ulhas, under a new identity, was in the process of replicating the scam in Ratnagiri. For this reason, he was trying to revitalize two of his other companies, SGI Securities and Coppertrenz.
An economic offences wing team of Delhi Police is likely to go to both Nagpur and Ratnagiri to carry out more raids and question family members. On their radar will be at least two more directors of the firm who are already being probed by the EOW of Mumbai police.
“We know that Ulhas was residing in a rented accommodation in Ratnagiri. We believe a director, who is wanted in a cheating case in Ratnagiri might have provided him protection,” said an officer.
A source claimed that the accused Ulhas had even written an open letter to his investors on April 4 this year threatening them not to approach the police. “He had written that inviting the cops will also mean a thorough evaluation of the investors’ cash sources, which may compromise many of them,” claimed the source. The police are checking the veracity of these claims.
Meanwhile, questions are being raised as to how Stockguru managed to operate despite several financial security agencies sending out feelers to Sebi, questioning the company’s promised returns and modus operandi. Stockguru described itself as the country’s ‘premier financial consultancy’ and offered trading solutions in equity, derivatives, currency futures, commodities trading, initial public offerings, insurance, mutual funds, portfolio management services and terminal handling, all under one roof.
In Ratnagiri, Ulhas was even trying to lure investors with an additional 3% income through a binary plan, which meant investors would get higher returns if they brought in new customers. “We are hoping to uncover many more truths once we reach Ratnagiri and Nagpur, and get to talk to victims from other states,” said S D Mishra, additional DCP (EOW).