INDIA. Mumbai: On Monday, the Additional District Judge for CBI Cases in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, handed down convictions and varying prison terms to 15 individuals, including 13 bank employees, in a housing loan fraud case.
The former manager (Scale-II), N. Gunaseelan, received a seven-year rigorous imprisonment (RI) sentence along with a fine of Rs. 75,000. Ms. Jesuvin Febi, an employee, was sentenced to three years of RI and a fine of Rs. 30,000. Additionally, R. Mahalingam, C. Arumughan, Raja Thomas, R. Murali, R. Thirupati, G. Thangarajan, R. Vadamalai, A. Jesuraj, Sharun Rashit, P. Theradimuthu, and S. Sundaresan, all employees of the bank, were each sentenced to three years of RI and ordered to pay a fine of Rs. 60,000.
Furthermore, middlemen Paul Johnson and A. Kumaresan were sentenced to three years of rigorous imprisonment, along with a fine of Rs. 20,000 each.
The bank employees were found guilty of sanctioning and disbursing housing loans amounting to Rs. 155.79 lakh to ineligible borrowers. Consequently, the loan accounts became Non-Performing Assets, with an outstanding amount of Rs. 162.72 lakh, as stated in the official statement.
It was alleged that Paul Johnson and A. Kumaresan conspired with bank employees to defraud Syndicate Bank’s Dindigul Main Branch. The employees had approved and released housing loans without conducting proper scrutiny.
The CBI registered a case on October 4, 2010, based on a complaint from the Syndicate Bank Regional Office in Coimbatore. After conducting an investigation, charge sheets were filed on May 3, 2012, against the accused. The Trial Court found the accused guilty and convicted them.
Syndicate Bank was one of India’s 13 major commercial banks and was nationalized on July 19, 1969, by the Union Government. Its headquarters were located in the university town of Manipal, Karnataka. However, on April 1, 2020, it merged with Canara Bank.