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By | Joe Fay 25th November 2009 15:37

Satyam investigation jacks up fraud bill by 40 per cent

Money was funnelled into land, houses

The Satyam Computer Services scandal has flared back into life with allegations that the fraud perpetuated at the firm was 40 per cent bigger than previously thought.

India's Central Bureau of Investigation released a supplementary charge sheet today which claims that the ten people it says were behind the scam inflated revenues "to the tune of Rs430 crores" and fraudulently obtained loans and advances to the tune of Rs1220 crores.

A crore is equivalent to ten million, meaning the total extra fraudage at the firm comes to around $350m.

The CBI says it has also identified 1065 properties worth Rs350 crores acquired by the accused individuals. The property shopping list includes 6,000 acres of land, 40,000 square yards of housing plots and 90,000 sq feet of "builtup area".

The ten people charged include Satyam founder and former chairman Ramlinga Raju, who coughed to inflating revenues at the firm in January, shortly after a failed attempt to merge the company with a building firm owned by his relatives.

The scam was allegedly perpetuated by inventing around 13,000 fictitious employees, whose "wages" were funnelled into land deals.

Raju took the blame upon himself, but the Indian authorities clearly believe the fraud was down to a wider group of individuals, a number of whom are now also residing in India's prison system while the investigation takes its course.

As for Satyam, the severely tainted firm was sold to Tech-Mahindra, a rival services firm which is part owned by BT. ®

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