District and Sessions Judge (special cases) R V Tamhanekar in his order on Saturday said the accused, A M Sudheerkumar and A M Sunilkumar, both brothers and owners of the fraud-hit jewellery chain originally hailing from Kerala, did not deserve bail at this stage.
Hence, their application was being rejected, he said.
The duo surrendered to a Thane court on December 14 2019. They were subsequently arrested by the city police’s Economic Offences Wing which is probing the cheating case.
The jewellery firm had shut its outlets in Thane, Palghar, Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra a couple of days before Diwali last year, leaving hundreds of people, who invested in its gold and fixed deposit schemes, in the lurch.
The two accused were booked under various IPC sections, including 420 (cheating), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 34 (common intention) and also provisions of the Maharashtra Protection of Interests of Depositors in Financial Establishments (MPID) Act and the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Act.
The judge in his order said, “After perusal of the say filed by investigating officer, it is clear that totally 11 crimes have been registered against the accused under the MPID Act and the defrauded amount is Rs 1,76,96,83,413.”
The accused are also booked under provisions of the IPC and the amount of cheating is Rs 13,61,78,787, he said.
So, when such kind of huge amount is involved, unless the interest of all investors is secured, the accused persons cannot be released on bail, the judge said.
Earlier, additional Public Prosecutor Vivek Kadu said the amount and investors whom the duo cheated was very large. Hence, they should not be released on bail, he told the court.
It is alleged that the accused persons accepted crores of rupees in cash and by way of cheques from various investors and transferred the amount in 14 accounts of different banks in the name of Goodwin Jewellers.
The accused allegedly failed to return the amount or gold of investors and thereby, cheated them, according to the prosecution.