Efforts are stepped up both at the State and Central levels to tackle the menace of Ponzi schemes. Ponzi schemes are schemes that bait susceptible people into parting money with the promise of it multiplying many times over in a short time frame. A large number of people have become victims of such fraudulent money pooling schemes and losing their hard-earned money.
The number of companies that have come under the government scanner has risen sharply from the preceding fiscal year. The (SFIO) Serious Fraud Investigation Office has ordered in-depth probes into 63 such companies for this fiscal year, the number of which could very well rise further considering that there are three more months for the end of this financial year. These companies who were targeted by SFIO were involved in activities that could be labeled ‘ponzi activities/chit fund/multi-level marketing (MLM)’. This number is purported to be the highest for this fiscal year when compared to the figures of the last two financial years.
The SFIO is an agency that comes under the ministry of Corporate Affairs—responsible for implementing the Companies Act. The Corporate Affairs ministry has revealed the figures based on the data available with them. The number amounted to 47 for the fiscal year 2015–2016, which fell to a mere 27 in the following year, which is 2016–2017. However, this year, it has again risen sharply to total 63 in number.
The companies have come under investigation for their alleged involvement in unlawful money pooling activities. If this total is anything to go by, then the average number of companies that have come under the line of investigation totals to about seven per month, which is quite a number. Moreover, the chances of this number increasing cannot be ruled out. The year 2017–2018 is definitely going to be remembered by the SFIO authorities for all the wrong reasons!