A few days ago I wrote about the latest turn of events in the fascinating drama of two once-billionaire brothers (Malvinder and Shivinder Singh), their guru relative (Gurinder Singh Dhillon), and the guru's right hand man (Sunil Godhwani).
In that post, "Delhi Police financial fraud charges point to RSSB guru's involvement," I noted that there is a fact gap between the Singh brothers and Godhwani being charged with money laundering, and the apparent funneling of much, most, or all of that money into the pockets of Dhillon, his family and close associates.
So important questions remain to be answered.
Such as: (1) Are investigators in India going to reveal who ended up with the money diverted into loans to shell companies, who orchestrated this financial fraud, and what the purpose of the fraud was?
(2) Assuming Gurinder Singh Dhillon and his family were the ultimate beneficiaries of much or all of this money, will Indian investigators have the political backing to delve into the Dhillon family's involvement in the illegal money transfers and hold them to account if they were active participants in the fraud?
Another way of looking at this admittedly confusing, complex case is to recognize that there are criminal and civil components to it. The Delhi Police charges address the current status of the criminal component.
And the High Court of Delhi has been addressing the civil component in the course of trying to figure out how the Singh brothers are going to be able to pay a $500 million settlement they owe to Daiichi, a Japanese company that bought their Ranbaxy pharmceutical firm.
In July 2019 I wrote about the Dhillon family's role in this part of the case in "Delhi High Court requires recovery of money from RSSB guru." I shared a Business Today story in that post. Here's an excerpt from that story.
RSSB chief Gurinder Singh Dhillon, wife Shabnam Dhillon, sons Gurkirat and Gurpreet and daughter-in-law Nayan Tara Dhillon are among the 56 entities from whom Delhi HC has ordered recovery of monies Singh brothers-Malvinder & Shivinder-owe to Daiichi. Money will also be recovered from former Religare chief Sunil Godhwani and brother Sanjay Godhwani, according to the Delhi HC order.
BusinessToday.In had reported on March 12 that Singh brothers can only pay the $500 million order against them to compensate Daiichi, provided the money owed to them by RSSB chief Gurinder Singh Dhillon and his family is recovered. In his submission, Malvinder has maintained that he can pay the arbitration order provided he can recover the money owed to him.
So we're left with the above-mentioned fact gap.
Malvinder, Shivinder, and Godhwani have been charged with money laundering. But Malvinder says that the laundered money, basically fraudulent loans, ended up with Gurinder Singh Dhillon and his family.
Since the adage "follow the money" usually holds true in criminal financial conspiracies, loose ends will remain in this case until there's a definitive answer to who got the laundered money, why the laundering took place, and who organized the fraud.
There's a variety of ways to tie together what's currently known, or strongly suspected, in this case.
One of the best summaries was put together by Spence Tepper, a frequent commenter on this blog. Tepper appears to have modified his views to some extent, but I still consider what he wrote in July 2019 to be an excellent overview of the case, even though almost certainly it isn't a completely accurate description.
I shared Tepper's comment in a post called "Great overview of RSSB guru's financial fraud involvement." Here's the comment again. As noted in the post, I added some links and made a few corrections.
Hi Osho. You wrote, "I don’t think it’s a matter of 'guilty or not guilty' but more a matter of recovery of the money."
Logically that makes little sense nor does it reflect the High Court of Delhi order. The court determined responsibility, and therfore guilt, and on that basis moved guilt away from Malvinder and onto Gurinder and company.
The Singh brothers held the legal responsibility to pay the Daiichi FDA penalty against Ranbaxy. But the High Court transferred that to Gurinder and company in June.
Malvinder claimed that he and Shivinder had loaned money to Gurinder, his family and associates, amounting to more than enough to cover the penalty. At first the Supreme Court indicated that they didn't care about the Singh's other business dealings, and held them directly responsible for repayment.
But when Malvinder was unable to pay up he filed a criminal complaint with the EOW (Economic Offences Wing) of the Delhi Police pleading his case that Gurinder, his wife, sons and associates owed hundreds of millions of dollars in loans and interest and hadn't repaid for years. These were the monies he needed to pay the Daiichi penalty.
Malvinder went further to document his efforts, pleading repeatedly in writing with Gurinder to help, but with no response from Gurinder.
Even before Malvinder filed his complaint the SEBI and the Fortis board had conducted separate audits that showed fraudulent loans being siphoned through shell companies.
Business journals had conducted their own audits and found that Gurinder and his family were the recipients of nearly a billion dollars in loans through a variety of shell companies. And some of Gurinder's family were involved in the creation and maintenance of the frauds.
All the participants and recipients of the fraudulent loans are satsangis who pledged vows of loyalty to the Master, in this case Gurinder.
By June various additional detailed and indiependent audits had been conducted by the Serious Crimes Division of the Delhi police, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, and the new board at Religare (who filed their own complaint directly implicating the loan recipients and claiming this was all a big scheme involving several people who had knowingly participated in the construction and execution of several frauds).
Then in June, after much deliberation, the High Court of Delhi rendered a judgment that Gurinder, his family and associates, among others, were directly responsible for repayment of their delinquent loans, in full.
The High Court, essentially, verified what Malvinder claimed, and placed responsibility, and therefore culpability, directly onto Gurinder et al's shoulders. The High Court further froze Gurinder et al's assets as they were delinquent over several years in payment.
Guilt, culpability and responsibility have already been determined and payment ordered. For the funds Gurinder et al took, Malvinder is no longer responsible to repay that portion of the Daiichi penalty. The full responsibility is now directly upon Gurinder and company's shoulders, by judgment and order of the High Court of Delhi.