ED files charge sheet against ‘conman’ who duped people in name of PMO, contacts with politicians

A charge sheet under the anti-money laundering law has been filed against alleged conman Sanjay Prakash Rai alias Sanjay Sherpuria for “cheating” several people by portraying himself to be close to the PMO, senior bureaucrats and politicians, the ED said on Wednesday.
The prosecution complaint was filed before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court at the Patiala House Courts in Delhi on July 28 and the court took cognisance of it on July 31, it said in a statement.
The money laundering case stems from an FIR filed by the Lucknow Police alleging that Rai “duped” huge amount of money from general public by portraying himself close to senior politicians and bureaucrats and claiming to be an influencer, a social worker and associated with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
The ED had arrested Rai few months back after it conducted searches at 42 locations in Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Noida, Ghazipur, Pune and Gandhidham.
In one instance, the agency alleged, Rai “duped” businessman Gaurav Dalmia and his family to the tune of Rs 12 crore by instilling in him a fear of arrest in an ongoing investigation conducted by the ED.
An amount of Rs 6 crore out of the total amount was received in the bank account of the Youth Rural Entrepreneur Foundation (YREF) in January, 2023 from Dalmia Family Office Trust, wherein Gaurav Dalmia is a trustee, the ED said.
Rai, according to the ED, incorporated the YREF under the Companies Act as a not for profit company on February 16, 2019 and the registered address of YREF was village Karaila, Post Saheri in Ghazipur district of Uttar Pradesh.
However, the actual operational activities of YREF are being done from house No 1, Delhi Riding Club, Safdarjung Road, New Delhi which is also the residential address of Rai, it said.
Although Rai does not hold any official position in YREF, he controls the day-to-day affairs of the company and is the ultimate beneficiary, the agency said.
The said payment of Rs six crore was received by Rai “under the guise of donation in YREF from Dalmia Family Office Trust”.
Rai is alleged to have forged documents in respect of payments of Rs 6 crore received from Dalmia Family Office Trust to conceal the true nature of transactions.
In addition to the Rs six crore received in the account of YREF, a sum of Rs six crore was received “in cash” by Rai from Dalmia which was subsequently “layered and placed” in the bank accounts of his sons Yash Sanjayprakash Rai and Sujal Sanjayprakash Rai in the form of accommodation (hawala) entries from certain Delhi based jewellers in the garb of sale of old jewellery, the ED alleged.
In another instance, Rai is alleged to have cheated Mohit Singh, Managing Director of Shipra Estate Ltd, by showing his contacts with senior politicians and bureaucrats and “duped” him to the tune of Rs 1 crore by making false promises.
The payment of Rs 1 crore was received in the bank account of YREF “under the garb of donation”, the ED alleged.
Rai also “duped” Naveen Kumar Malhotra, Director of Bindu Fashion Pvt Ltd to the tune of Rs 1 crore and Sunil Chand Goyal, Director of Metadesign Solution Pvt Ltd, to the tune of Rs 51.50 lakh by “making false promises and impressing them by portraying himself as an influencer, a social worker and associated with PMO.”
The ED had earlier attached assets worth more than Rs 14.54 crore of Rai. (PTI)