The preliminary report by the risk advsiory firm, Alvarez and Marsal engaged by BharatPe has found inconsistencies with recruitment and fake invoices which involved Bharat Pe’s co-founder and Managing Director, Ashneer Grover’s wife Madhuri Jain, her brother, Shwetank Jain. Notably, the report mentions of a “Panipat connection” with all the vendors in the invoices generated stated to be from Panipat. Madhuri Jain, the report mentions, is also from Panipat.
The report, which was reviewed by the Business Today refers to the October, 2021 search conducted by the Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) at BharatPe’s head office and issued summons to the company’s authorised signatory to appear before the authority on November 1, 2021.
The summons asked the company to produce purchase invoice with respect to various enterprises and the bank statements which reflect payments to these vendors.
The company in a written communication informed DGGI confirming that these were inexistent vendors, and that BharatPe doesn’t want a show cause notice by the DGGI along with a request to waive off this notice.
The report stated that the fraud related to fake invoices cost the company Rs 10.97 crore whereas as the total expenditure related to 30 vendors was shown as Rs 53.25 crore.
Recruitment scam at BharatPe
The report noted that Bharat Pe recruits employees through various consultants who are paid the recruitment fees . The investigation found that in five such sample cases, although the employees confirmed their date of joining as mentioned in the invoice, they denied being hired through the consultants as mentioned in the invoice.
As per the report, in three such above cases, Ashneer Grover’s wife, Madhuri Jain had direcly received invoices from vendors and forwarded them to the account departments to make payments.
The risk advisory firm undertook the examination of these invoices and found various discrepancies including that these vendors were sole proprietorships and not established companies, the creator of all these invoices is Shwetank Jain (Madhuri Jain’s brother), no web portals, have other similar commonalities including same physical address, typeface, email addresses, some even having same bank branches.
The company spent more than Rs 3 crore with respect to the two vendors, namely Team plus Services, True Works Co.
The preliminary investigation suggests that the matter requires further investigation with respect to the company dealing with non-existent vendors, the reasons of company being unable to provide the proof delivery of materials and the basis on why the company decided to settle the matter with related to fake invoices by paying Rs 10.97 crore without legal efforts or make an effort to recover the same from vendors.
Meanwhile Business Today reached out to Bharat Pe, Ashneer Grover for a comment . The story will be updated with their responses.
BharatPe is conducting a probe into alleged frauds by its founder Ashneer Grover who is on a voluntary leave till April 1. Grover has meanwhile hired a legal firm and there could be a likelihood that he along with his wife (who was overseeing recruitment operations) may have to exit the firm.
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