Money & Banking

Citi fraud: New FIR names CEO Pandit, officials

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 21, 2019

Mr Sanjeev Aggarwal, a resident of Gurgaon and Managing Director of Helion Advisors, has filed an FIR (first information report) in Gurgaon against Citibank N.A., accusing the bank of criminal breach of trust and forgery.

The FIR indicates that Citibank N.A. has cheated Mr Aggarwal and his wife off Rs 32.43 crore of their life savings. The FIR names Indian-born global Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mr Vikram Pandit, in the recent fraud allegedly committed by Shivraj Puri, a Relationship Manager with Citibank N.A.

The FIR has been filed by Mr Aggarwal in his personal capacity. Apart from Citibank N.A. and Shivraj Puri, the others named in the FIR are Amit Zalpuri, Ashwin Chaddha, Amrita Farmahan, Rahul Scoota, N. Rajashekaran and Pramit Jhaveri. The FIR seeks that action be taken against the accused for committing the offences of criminal breach of trust, falsification of accounts, criminal conspiracy, fraudulent destruction of valuable security and cheating under Sections 409/420/471/477A with 120B IPC.

The FIR has charged Citibank N.A. and the bank's Relationship Manager with committing a significant fraud from August 2009 to November 2010 in collusion and conspiracy with senior officers of the bank. Mr Aggarwal has held a savings account with the Gurgaon branch of the bank since 2002. His wife and he opened an investment and wealth account in 2004 with Citibank NA. Citibank NA has shared no concrete information with Mr Aggarwal so far, to explain the fraud and loss of life savings from the account. The only communication made to them was in December 2010, where the complainant received a call from a senior executive at Citibank informing them that their relationship manager (Shivraj Puri) was on leave and would not be coming to office for some time.

Mr Aggarwal said, “Being a multinational bank of formidable repute, we trusted Citibank N.A. with our life savings which have now been wiped out… It is impossible for an employee to undertake fraud of such a scale, without the knowledge of the bank. Where are the checks and balances in the bank? It is a standard practice with banks to reach out to their account holders in cases when the portfolio under management gets reduced significantly. However in our case, no such step was taken by Citibank NA and our funds continued to be moved without our knowledge of the complete facts. I strongly feel that Citibank N.A. is accountable to return my money.”

As is a common practice, Citibank N.A. had blank Demand Drafts Requisition Forms and Common Transfer Forms signed from Mr Aggarwal for investments to be made on his behalf. A release by Mr Aggarwal said these were used to move Rs 32.43 crore without any instructions from either account holders.

Accounts frozen

In another development today, the Gurgaon police are learnt to have frozen the two accounts in Axis Bank of Mr Sanjay Gupta, Associate Vice-President (Accounts) with Hero Corporate Services, who allegedly received commissions of Rs 20 crore from Shivraj Puri.

> krsrivats@thehindu.co.in

Published on January 04, 2011

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