The inquiry led by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) into the suspected fraudulent activities at the payment firm BharatPe has brought to light a series of unexplained payments made to ostensibly fictitious human resource consultancies. Sources indicate the involvement of co-founder Ashneer Grover, his wife Madhuri Jain Grover (former head of controls at the company), and members of Madhuri Jain’s family in these transactions.
According to a status report filed by the EOW in the Delhi High Court, the accused allegedly employed backdated invoices to transfer funds from BharatPe’s accounts, specifically for commission payments related to recruitment work. An estimated ₹7.6 crore was purportedly disbursed to these fictitious HR consultancies, with an additional ₹1.66 crore paid as a penalty to goods and services tax (GST) authorities. Allegedly, ₹71.76 crore was siphoned off through fictitious transactions.
The total amount implicated in these transactions could exceed ₹81 crore, as the EOW investigation is still ongoing.
The EOW status report revealed, “During the course of the investigation, scrutiny of A/c No. [redacted] (belonging to alleged Madhuri Jain/Grover) revealed that she received a substantial amount of approximately ₹5 crore, ₹3 crore, and ₹2 crore from her father Suresh Jain, mother Santosh Jain, and brother Shwetank Jain, respectively.”
Madhuri Jain, the former head of controls at BharatPe, was dismissed in 2022 following a forensic audit that uncovered several irregularities. Subsequently, Ashneer Grover resigned as CEO in March 2022.
The EOW report further noted, “Further, scrutiny of account no. [redacted] (belonging to alleged Ashneer Grover) revealed that the petitioner Ashneer Grover transferred a sum of ₹46 crore (approx.) to the account of his father Ashok Grover from 2019 to 2022. These substantial transactions are yet to be verified, and their purpose/end user needs to be ascertained.”
Earlier this year, the EOW filed a First Information Report (FIR) under eight sections of the Indian Penal Code, including criminal breach of trust, cheating and dishonesty, and forgery. In its complaint, BharatPe alleged that Ashneer Grover and his family caused damages of approximately ₹81.3 crore through illegitimate payments to purportedly fake human resource consultants, among other charges.