House of Cards Scam: Mumbai Police Chargesheet Reveals Six Main Accused

Legal Proceedings Unfold: Mumbai Police Discloses Names of Key Players in House of Cards Scam

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House of Cards Scam: Mumbai Police Chargesheet Reveals Six Main Accused

22nd October 2023, Mumbai: The Virar Police have submitted the initial chargesheet related to the House of Cards scam. However, sources indicate that the Vasai Virar City Municipal Corporation (VVCMC) has not made progress. The municipal corporation established a 10-member inquiry committee to investigate the actions of current and former employees, suspected of aiding the scammers due to their alleged involvement and negligence.

The police inquiry has intensified, with the Virar police submitting a comprehensive 3,420-page chargesheet. A supplementary chargesheet regarding the multi-crore scam is in the works. Virar police sources revealed that they have reached out to the Income Tax (IT) department and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for further investigation, suspecting the involvement of multi-thousand crores of rupees in the scam.

Exclusive reports obtained by mid-day shed light on the bank accounts of the mastermind, Prashant Patil, arrested for defrauding over 4,000 families. The police discovered transactions worth crores of rupees in his accounts. Surprisingly, Patil had minimal amounts, ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 5,000, in his account annually until 2011. However, between 2011 and 2023, more than Rs 4 crore was credited to his multiple accounts under the names of Shree Gurukrupa Construction and Rudransh Realtors. Authorities are currently investigating whether these transactions were made by buyers or other entities.

The Virar police chargesheet includes 112 statements from victims, RERA, VVCMC, MMRDA, CIDCO, and other officials. Senior Inspector Rajendra Kamble oversaw the filing of the chargesheet, which was carried out by PSI Subhash Goilkar, constable Umesh Bokefod, and Nilesh Satpute.

The major accused in the scheme, according to the Virar police, are Prashant Patil, Dilip Benbanshi, Macchindra Vahanmane, Rajesh Naik, Pramod Zore, and Devendra Manjhi. Patil and Benbanshi, the masterminds, were involved in the construction of Rudransh Apartment in Kopri village, Virar East, where they defrauded buyers by using forged government documents.

During the inquiry, police seized 1,100 counterfeit VVCMC letterheads, 115 counterfeit stamps, 500 counterfeit CIDCO letters, and 55 counterfeit CC (commencement certificate) files with duplicate copies. In addition, the accused gang employed 13 nationalised banks and financing companies to issue loans to flat buyers. According to Senior Inspector Rajendra Kamble of the Virar police station, “We have submitted the chargesheet and have also written a letter to the IT Department and RBI, urging them to conduct an inquiry.”

The VVCMC authorities initiated an internal investigation into the scam, leading to the registration of nine cases against Patil and his associates for constructing the building illegally with counterfeit government documents. However, no further actions have been taken. Both VVCMC Commissioner Anil Pawar and Deputy Commissioner Kishor Gavas were unavailable for comments.

By Vaishnavi Rastogi

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