The DN Nagar police have arrested an Andheri-based businessman on charges of cheating a home buyer by promising to sell him two 1BHK apartments in a Yari Road building for a price much lower than market rates, and allegedly defrauding him of Rs 33 lakh.
Paresh Rao was arrested under IPC Section 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating) and 34 (common intention) on Saturday night, based on an FIR lodged by the DN Nagar police on a complaint filed by home buyer Lloyd Tellis.
According to the complaint, Rao, his wife Seema Rao, and associate Santosh Parab had taken a sum of Rs 38 lakh after promising to sell Tellis two 1BHK apartments, Nos 201 and 202, in Panchmukhi apartments off Yari Road, Versova, for Rs 58 lakh.
Tellis, his wife Priya, and sister Andrea had together contributed the money, which was paid to Rao’s company, CMA Creations, in installments between March 2016 and February 2017.
“We were told the remaining money needed to be paid after registration of the flat. Then they kept giving various excuses to delay the registration. Finally, on September 7, 2017, Paresh Rao said they cannot sell the flats to us, and would return our money. They gave us a cheque for Rs 38 lakh, but the cheque bounced when deposited,” Tellis told Mirror.
The complaint said Rao issued four more cheques in January 2018, for Rs 38.07 lakh, which also bounced. On February 20, 2018, Rao transferred Rs 5 lakh from Seema Rao’s account, and promised to repay the balance Rs 33.07 lakh, but did not pay. In December 2018, the Tellis family lodged a complaint with the DN Nagar police, which converted it into an FIR on March 7 this year and began investigations.
Assistant Police Inspector Shital Patil, who is the investigating officer in the case, told Mirror “Yes, we have arrested accused No. 2 Paresh Rao in this case yesterday, and produced him in court. He has been remanded in police custody till March 20 and further investigations are on.”
The complaint names Rao’s wife, Seema Rao, as accused No. 1, and associate Santosh Parab as accused No. 2.
“When Rao and his associates started making excuses, we became suspicious and began collecting information about them. We found a Delhi High Court order that showed that the two flats in Panchmukhi building are not in their name, and are in fact under litigation in a liquidation case before the Delhi HC,” Tellis said.
The website of Rao’s company CMA Creations showed he had floated multiple companies and claimed to operate in various sectors, such as pharmaceuticals, film-making, aviation, agriculture, event management and hospitals.
Seema Rao and Santosh Parab, and their family members, were named as directors in these companies. The website also showed photographs of Paresh posing with prominent political leaders. The DN Nagar police are now investigating all these aspects.