IT interrogates two Axis Mutual Fund executives in high-profile case

Income Tax Department sources said they interviewed two serving executives of Axis Mutual Fund in connection with the alleged high-profile affair.

Twelve fund managers were on the IT department’s radar. The sources said two of them were questioned in connection with high-profile and suspected tax evasion.

Jinesh Gopani, chief equity officer at Axis AMC and Pawan Jhangiani, a reseller at Axis AMC were also reportedly questioned by IT managers.

On July 28, the IT department carried out searches at the premises of its former Chief Trader and Fund Manager of Axis Mutual Fund, Viresh Joshi.

Joshi had been on the IT department’s radar since May after it was discovered that the latter was in possession of a Lamborghini and luxury apartments in Mumbai.

It has been alleged that Joshi acquired all of this allegedly through the vanguard.

The IT department recorded the statement from Joshi and a few other brokers. The department gathered information from SEBI before conducting raids.

Joshi was accused of taking kickbacks from brokers instead of sharing mutual fund advice. It was alleged that after engaging in such practices, he obtained financial benefits from the brokers.

It was also alleged that brokers used to pay him monthly. Joshi is said to have invested in mutual funds buying many mid and small cap stocks for the benefit of brokers and himself.

The IT department had formed a team of its elite managers in May to investigate the alleged Axis Mutual Fund scam.

Since then, about 12 fund managers, including Joshi, have been on the IT department’s radar.

The income tax department was surprised because the alleged defendant did not provide his real estate information in the tax return which was later detected.

The IT department, in its preliminary investigation, found that the fund managers held a number of trading and non-trading assets which they allegedly concealed on their tax returns. They had even shown that they were not making any profit from their real estate.

The department learned that the fund managers were collecting rent on their properties on which the tax was not paid.

The IT department is also studying their source of income, how fund managers were able to buy luxury apartments and other properties.

Now fund managers are facing a tax evasion case and it is also possible that they will face a parallel investigation into their sources of income.



(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dolores W. Simon