More Money, More Problems?

Amid an ongoing legal battle, streaming giant Netflix, on Monday, released all episodes of its much-awaited docu-series ‘Bad Boy Billionaires’, except the one based on B Ramalinga Raju.

The release was made possible after a lower court in Bihar, on Saturday, vacated its own stay order on the release of the web series. The docu-series which has grabbed eyeballs for its no-holds-barred portrayal of Indian businessmen who had a run-in with the law enforcement agencies had generated much interest in the stories of Indian billionaires who didn’t exactly pay their debts and were hounded by the agencies for a long time.

Here are 7 Indian billionaires, ‘bad boys’ in their own right, who had to file for bankruptcy.




The King Of ‘Good Times’

An Indian businessman, a former Rajya Sabha MP and a former owner of an IPL franchise - Vijay Mallya has ventured into new fields, be it sports, politics or now defunct Kingfisher airlines. Mallya, often known as the king of ‘good times’ isn’t exactly having a good time amid the efforts of the Indian government to extradite him from the UK and make him criminal charges on the Indian soil.

A group of 17 Indian banks are trying to collect approximately Rs 9,000 crore ($1.3 billion) in loans which Mallya has allegedly routed to gain 100% or a partial stake in about 40 companies across the world. Several agencies including the Income Tax Department and the Central Bureau of Investigation are investigating Mallya for charges including financial fraud and money laundering.

On 13 June 2016, the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court declared Mallya a proclaimed offender on a request by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with its money-laundering probe against him in an alleged Rs 9000 crore loan default case.

Mallya has lost his appeal in the UK High Court and has moved SC to stop his extradition. It is, however, being said that he could be extradited in the next few months.



Mehul Choksi, a fugitive businessman who is currently living in the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, is wanted by the Indian authorities for criminal conspiracies, breach of trust and money laundering. Choksi was the owner of Gitanjali Group, a retail jewellery company with 4,000 stores in India. An arrest warrant has been issued against him in the Punjab National Bank fraud case.

Choksi is suspected of colluding with two employees of Punjab National Bank (PNB), the countrys second-largest state-owned lender, in an alleged $1.8 billion fraud.

A designated PMLA authority, in 2018, held that 41 properties worth about Rs 1,210 crore, attached by the ED in the name of Mehul Choksi and his associated firms, are money laundering assets and ordered that their attachment should continue.

A billion dollar heist, you bet!




The Fall Of Satyam Computers

Satyam Computers, back in the ‘90s, used to be a highly successful IT firm which ultimately collapsed and shut down in 2015. Among many reasons for the collapse was the former Chairman and CEO of Satyam Computer Services, Ramalinga Raju, stepping down from his role after his admission that he embezzled the company of Rs 7,140 crore.

Raju resigned from the Satyam board after the Satyam Scandal, admitting to falsifying revenues, margins and over Rs 5,000 crore of cash balances as the company.

He confessed to an accounting fraud to the tune of Rs 7,000 crore or $1.5 billion and resigned from the Satyam board on 7 January 2009. Satyam was purchased by Tech Mahindra in April 2009 and renamed Mahindra Satyam.

On 11 May 2015, within a month of being convicted, Ramalinga Raju and all others who were found guilty were granted bail by a special court in Hyderabad. The bail amount for R. Raju and his brother was set at Rs 10,00,000/- and the other convicts was set at Rs 50,000/- only.



A fugitive businessman, Nirav Modi, is wanted by the Interpol and the Indian government for criminal conspiracy, corruption, money laundering, fraud and breach of contract since August 2018. Modi is being investigated in a $2 billion fraud case of Punjab National Bank.

After PNB filed a complaint against Modi and his partners for defrauding the bank of Rs 28,000 crore, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a case against Modi and the ED started investigating him. However, that’s not all. Modi has also been sued by a California-based entrepreneur for $4.2 million over two custom diamond engagement rings which turned out to be lab diamonds.

Modi is reportedly living in the UK and has applied for political asylum in Britain. On 8th June, 2020, The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Court ordered a confiscation of nearly Rs 1,400 crores worth property of Modi.



The managing worker and Chairman of Sahara India Pariwar, Subrata Roy, had a run-in with the law enforcement agencies back in 2014. On 26 February 2014, the Supreme Court of India ordered the detention of Roy for failing to appear before it in connection with a legal dispute with Market Regulator - SEBI.

Roy was held in custody in the Tihar Jail, Delhi and is now out on parole since May 2016. Since then he has been successful in getting his bail extended on various grounds. As of 31 January 2019, Sahara still had to pay Rs 10,621 crore to meet its total liability.



Belonging to the coveted Ambani clan is no mean feat. However, living up to the reputation can end up taking a toll on you. The Chairman of the Reliance Group, had a close shave with jail time in March before his elder brother and Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, bailed him out at the last minute.

The woes of the ex-billionaire came to the fore when India’s top court asked him to pay Ericsson AB’s India unit about $77 million of past dues or go to jail since Anil Ambani, 60, had given a personal guarantee.

Anil Ambani has been fending off creditors and fighting multiple cases in courts amid his phone carrier Reliance Communications Ltd. sliding into bankruptcy.




A Lot Can Happen Over Coffee

Before jumping off a bridge into a river in July in an apparent suicide, the founder of India’s biggest coffee chain Cafe Coffee Day had penned a letter that spoke of pressure from lenders, a private equity firm and harassment by tax officials.

On 21 September 2017, a tax raid was conducted at more than 20 of V. G. Siddharthas locations in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Chikmagalur by senior officers of the Income Tax Department of Karnataka and Goa regions.

Soon after Siddharthas demise, the Internet was flooded with evocative tributes for the CCD founder, with most of them using the line ‘a lot can happen over coffee’ to eulogise the late entrepreneur.

Rest in power, Siddhartha!


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