The probe into alleged tax evasion by financial provider BharatPe has been broadened by the GST intelligence authorities. Authorities are also looking into the issuing of false invoices by associates of expelled co-founder Ashneer Grover.
The GST officials are also looking at BharatPe’s records from the previous four years to determine whether any false invoices for services were also issued.
BharatPe co-founder Ashneer Grover and his wife, Madhuri Jain, were both fired from BharatPe after a preliminary report from an external audit commissioned by the fintech firm’s board revealed that the couple had engaged in suspected wrongdoing and financial irregularities.
The termination is based on a report provided to the BharatPe board on January 24 by Alvarez and Marsal (A&M). In January, BharatPe formed a review committee to investigate various suspected financial irregularities and governance shortcomings at the three-year-old fintech startup.
The preliminary study by A&M uncovered two severe cases of fraud at BharatPe, including anomalies in recruiting and payment of non-existent vendors. Jain, who has been in charge of BharatPe’s procurement, admin, and human resources divisions since 2018, is suspected of being involved in both fraudulent operations.
BharatPe’s books have been under investigation by GST officials since last year for suspected issuing of invoices without any real delivery of products, and the Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) launched a search operation at the fintech firm’s headquarters in October last year.