Two months after suicide, Wipro admits financial fraud
Bangalore: A 26-year-old chartered accountant at Wipro who committed suicide on December 23, 2009 told his wife eight days before his death that he had been caught embezzling funds at the finance controller division he was working at, police investigations into the suicide have revealed.
Even as the Government Railway Police here have moved to close the case of the suicide of Anup Kumar Agarwal -- based on the statement of his chartered accountant wife Rashmi -- Wipro has, for the first time on Friday, publicly acknowledged the swindle.
Wipro, who did not initiate legal process in the embezzlement by Agarwal, put down at Rs 19 crore over a three-year period, has now announced completion of an internal investigation and a rehaul of the finance controller division where the fraud was centred. The company has been quiet about the embezzlement case since its reported discovery in December 2009, despite the suicide of the alleged main accused at the same time.
It made its first announcement on the matter only on Friday night. The company, without alluding to the employee's name, said the fraud committed by an employee who "chose to end his life after his actions came to light" involved transfer of company funds to personal accounts.
"The internal probe revealed that the embezzlement involved only one employee who transferred from company's bank accounts to his personal account in several transactions over a period of three years from November 2006," Wipro said.
A Wipro official said amounts ranging between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 1 crore were transferred over the three-year period to personal accounts by Agarwal before the fraud was discovered by employees of Wipro. "Wipro has made changes to certain key positions in the controllership team even though they were not involved in the embezzlement. However, their association and actions with the employee who embezzled had created a conflict of interest for them," said the company statement.
Wipro officials said 50per cent of the embezzled amount had been received back by the company.
Agarwal, the alleged solo perpetrator of the Rs 19 crore embezzlement, was found dead on a railway track in east Bangalore, 10 km away from his Springfield Apartments home on December23. The Railway Police, who registered a case, located his address from a membership card he had for a swimming pool. A post- mortem of the body of Agarwal, a f native of Dhanbad, Jharkhand, con- ducted on December 24 concluded that "death is due to shock and haemorrhage due to multiple injuries sustained in a railway accident". Rashmi, according to the police, told them that her husband had eight days earlier told her that he had been caught misappropriating money at Wipro and that an internal inquiry had been initiated against him.
Rashmi revealed to the police that her husband whom she had met five years ago and married seven months t prior was in the process of constructing a house in an upmarket locality.
"She said she had tried to convince d her husband that they should call family members over and discuss the matter," sources said.
On the night of December 22, according to Rashmi, there had been a discussion on the issue with Anup and her brother Rajesh who was staying with the couple. She had gone to sleep and woke up at 5 am to find her husband missing. She notified the local police that he was missing. Following the identification of Agarwal's body, Rashmi, on December 24, provided a statement to the police saying "because of mental disturbance and money problems he committed suicide".
Based primarily on Rasmi's statement the police on January 13 ordered filing of a final report in the case to bring it to a close. Internet comments following early reports of the fraud at Wipro that appeared round 10 days ago indicated that the perpetrator was a topper in chartered accountancy.
Source: The Indian Express
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