Market sources are emphatic that Shivraj Puri may have been fronting for a lot of insider activity
After the absurd, headline-grabbing action of trying to implicate the Citibank global CEO into what were essentially actions of a rogue manager, the Rs400-crore scam seems set for a quiet burial.
Yes, Shivraj Puri, who allegedly duped several well-heeled, but extremely gullible, customers will be prosecuted and will probably serve a sentence. Investors will be compensated and the Citibank involvement will be closed. It will be interesting to see if the prosecution of Mr Puri and the officials of a large corporate group will throw up interesting surprises. My sources say that at least some of Mr Puri’s biggest clients were fully aware that he was diverting money into the stock exchange and his forged documentation was only a cover. It is hard to believe that a set of businessmen did not question Mr Puri’s promise of a 24% to 36% annual return on what was portrayed as a SEBI-approved scheme.
Market sources are emphatic that Mr Puri may have been fronting for a lot of insider activity. They say that brokerage firms in which he held accounts would never have allowed an individual, that too a bank executive, to run up trading volumes in excess of a few hundred crore unless they were aware that he had backers with deep pockets. — Sucheta Dalal