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By | John Oates 22nd January 2009 16:25

Satyam boss 'invented' thousands of staff

And took their wages, prosecutors claim

Satyam founder Ramalinga Raju added 13,000 invented employees to the firm's payroll so he could siphon off their wages, Indian prosecutors have claimed.

Raju allegedly funnelled the money off through family members and used it to fund more than 400 land deals.

Satyam claimed to have 53,000 employees, but in reality this was closer to 40,000, authorities claim. The prosecutors also told a Hyderabad court that Raju had admitted forging documents to support his fraud. Raju's lawyer denied the claims.

Raju, his brother and the company's ex-CFO were in court to have their custody extended - the judge agreed and they were returned to prison until Friday, according to the Times of India.

Raju has reportedly already admitted to a $1bn fraud, but claimed not to have profited personally from the scam. The scandal has cast a shadow over the whole Indian outsourcing business.

Satyam's emergency board is meeting again on Friday - it has appointed two firms of accountants to try and sort out their books. The board will also discuss applications for the posts of CEO and CFO - there could be a decision on Friday.®

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