Mumbai-based builder arrested for cheating investors of over Rs 130 crore

Mumbai-based builder arrested for cheating investors of over Rs 130 crore
Representational Image. Courtesy: WSJ.com

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai police has arrested a builder for allegedly cheating around 40 investors to the tune of Rs 133 crore. The investors had paid for a property he never developed and failed to return the money.

The accused, Gurunath Sadashiv Fhondekar, is the director of M/S Vaidehi Akash housing Pvt Ltd.

He was given the redevelopment contract of old MHADA buildings in 2005 on the condition that he would use 2.6 lakh sq.ft of the 5 lakh sq.ft area to build 480 flats and use the remaining area to fund the development.

However, according to one source, Fhondekar exceeded the permissible saleable area from 2.4 lakh sq.ft to 3.5 lakh sq.ft by 2009. The area was then sold to a bunch of investors under the pretence of constructing a building.

By doing this he managed to pocket around Rs 133 crore from 40 investors, including Dharamshi Patel.

However, after realising that he had cheated the investors, Patel lodged a complaint against Fhondekar at DN Nagar police station in 2015.

The case was subsequently transferred to the EOW, following which Fhondekar was arrested and put in police custody till November 25.

He has been booked under sections 379 (theft), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), 34 (common intention) of Indian Penal Code and 4, 5, 11 of the Maharashtra Ownership of Flats Act (MOFA).

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